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Full text of "A chapter of the history of the war of 1812 in the northwest [microform] : embracing the surrender of the northwestern army and fort at Detroit, August 16, 1812 ; with a description and biographical sketch of the celebrated Indian chief, Tecumseh"

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History of the War of 1812 



Tie SiirreiSer of tie IrOif csteni Aray M M, 


(Ditl) a tUcscription anb !3'0sra|j|)iral Gkctcl) 


§cUhmhd ^ndimi §hief §ccmmck 


Volunteer in the Cinchinati TAght Infanfrv, and 
fi'om the invasion of Canada, to the surre'iKler 
of the drmy. Acting Assistant Quartei'- 
master General of that Army, 









Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 






■^. ■ 





The aggressive acts of the British Gov- 
ernment upon the ocean, especially in the 
boarding our merchant vessels, and forcibly 
taking therefrom any sailor that the board- 
ing officer thought proper to consider as 
having been born in England, and forcing 
such of our citizens so taken into actual ser- 
vice on board their fleet, until the numbers 
taken reached nearly seven thousand, and 
this most insulting and hostile course having 
been continued for many years, notwith- 


standing the continued and earnest remon- 
strance of our Government, together with 
the instigation of the savage tribes of the 
west and north-west by English traders and 
the official agents of that Government to 
commit acts of hostility against our western 
settlements, had at length produced in the 
mind of almost every man west of the 
Alleghanies a feeling of hostility towards 
that Government, but by no means against 
the English people as individuals, as there 
were none of our citizens more respected or 
beloved, nor were there any more patriotic 
in volunteering in the war that ensued, 
than our fellow-citizens of English birth. 
At the close of the Anglo-Indian war of 
1791, the British Government still held, in 
contravention of the treaty of 1783, a 
strongly built fortress, near the foot of the 
Rapids of the Maumee, and which was per- 
sistently held by that Government tor a 
length of time, and only vacated by British 
troops after many complaints and many re- 


monstrances on the part of our Government. 
It was finally, after the close of this war 
by Wayne's treaty at Greenville of the 
third of August, 1705, evacuated, and our 
territory at that point was relieved of the 
presence of a hostile flag, and the forces of 
a foreign power, for so long a time tres- 
passing upon our territory and instigating 
and assisting the savage tribes to continued 
hostility against our earliest settlers, in 
what was at that time a vast wilderness. 

They however but crossed the head of the 
Lake to their previously established post of 
Maiden, just at the entrance of the Detroit 
River into the Lake ; and from this point 
they sought to keep a strong hold upon the 
Indian tribes of the old north-western 
territory as well as all others that they 
could reach or control. In carrying this 
policy into efleet they made Maiden their 
great trading post, and from it made to the 
Indians annually presents of arms and 
ammunition as well as medals, trinkets and 


showy articles of merchandise, and for tho 
use and accommodation of this annual as- 
sembling of the Indian tribes, erected a 
large Council House, and established their 
great council ground at Brownstown, near 
to Lake Erie, and within our territory of 
Michigan. Again by this act of flagrant 
aggression upon our territory, continuing 
the bitter feeling manifested towards us on 
every occasion. 

These annual convocations of all the 
Indian tribes of the north-west were at- 
tended by British agents, speaking their 
language, or haranguing them through their 

It was here that Elliot and McKee, 
two most atrocious renegades from tho 
United States, whose presence at St. Clair's 
defeat was made known to us after the 
treaty of Greenville by Indian chiefs, who 
asserted that they, especially the latter, 
tomahawked more of our soldiers, and toro 
the scalps from more of our wounded men 


tlian any Indian actor in that terrible con- 
flict. It was here that these men with bloody 
hands and scalps of American citizens or- 
namenting their dress, reciularlv met the 
Indians in council, speaking their language, 
and as chief agents of the British Govern- 
ment with royal commissions as British 
officers, had immense influence over them. 

In the meantime Tecumseh and his 
brothers had grown up to manhood, and 
whilst one of them became renowned 
throughout all the north-west and south-west 
as a mighty Prophet of the Great 
Spirit, one other became the Warrior and 
Great Orator of his tribe and race. They 
unitedly matured their great plan for a 
general confederation of all the Indian 
tribes to act and war against any further 
approach and dominion of the White Race, 
and if possible to regain their old territorial 
boundary of the Ohio River. 

Large bodies of Indians were gathered at 
different points. The Prophet was ever 





busy teaching them and promising a glori- 
ous future when they should have '* driven 
the wJiite race hack to the ocean from 
whence they came^'"^ which the Great Spirit 
had said to him, should be done if they 

* The "Prophet" re-produced these great words: *' drive 
the white race bach to the ocean from whence they came" which 
had been the rallying cry of the great " Pontiac," a hulf 
a century before. This he did as giving higiier promises from 
the favor of the Great Spirit in tlieir behalf than what 
Te(.'UMSEh or the chiefs of the great tribes contended for 
or expected, even in the event of the greatest success. 

Tliey hoped to regain their old boundary, the Ohio River. 
In this they were consistent: they had contended for it in 
the War of 1791, and when our government endeavored 
after Harmar's and St. Clair's defeats, and before W^ayne's 
campaign, to make peace with them, they unitedly refus;ed, 
except upon the terms of this boundary ; and our Govern- 
ment during its negotiations with them had to put in the 
plea, that, as by the treaty of " Fort Harmar " a part of 
the territory had been ceded to the United States, and 
already partially occupied in good faith, the old limits could 
not be agreed too, but that the then existing limits and 
boundaries should forever be held sacred and inviolate. 
British officers and agents had promised them in 1791, if 
they would make a general war on the American settlements 
already established in the north-western territory, that all 
the power and all the warriors of the king of Great Britain, 
their great father beyond the rising sun, should be brought to 
their support, and would certainly secure to them forever 
the boundary of the Ohio River. 


would obey his word and unite with a de- 
termined will in support of the great cause. 
At the same time Tecumseii was actively 
engaged in visiting, accompanied by a 
chosen band of young warriors, every Indian 
tribe from Lake Superior on the north, to 
Florida in the south, and holding councils 
with them, and urging with his vehement 
oratory that general combined action so 
necessary to ensure the success of their great 
effort in a universal war 

The summer of 1811 arrived, when tho 
government deemed it necessary to bring a 
large force into the field to meet and put 
down this dangerous combination. 

The old 4th regiment of Infantry, raised 
and officered mostly in New Hampshire 
and Massachusetts, and commanded by 
Colonel Boyd, was ordered to report at Yin- 
cennes, to General William Henry Harrison, 
then Governor of the Indiana Territory. At 
the same time several regiments of volunteer 
mounted Infant^ v were called for from the 




State of Kentucky, and marched in tlio 
months of September and October to the 
same post. ' ' 

These forces under the command of 
Governor Harrison, advanced up the line 
of the Wabash; established the post of 
Fort Harrison ; moved on, and on the sixth 
of November, ip the afternoon, encamped 
on rising ground near Tippecanoe Creek, 
having an extensive prairie just in front, 
and the Indian village known as the 
Prophet's Town, being the main point for 
which the army marched, a short distance 
in advance. It was here that the Indians 
had been assembled for several months, and 
were then known to be in large force. Yet 
Governor Harrison did not expect that they 
would attack him, but that on seeing his 
large and well appointed army, would for 
the time at least pretend a disposition for 
peace, and gradually disperse to their 
villages or tribes. In this, however, he was 
mistaken, as at 4 o'clock the next morning 



they made their attack. It was. impetuous, 
and in great force, and made almost simul- 
taneously on both flanks and the rear of the 
camp, first breaking through the pickets, 
with silent approach creeping upon the 
earth through the tall grass, slaying nearly 
all. They then rushed with great fury 
through and over the niain guards, and 
entered the camp amidst the tents., of our 
troops, viiih. terrific yells. 

It required all the coolness and bravery 
of the troops to repel them, which they did, 
so soon as they w^ere up and formed in line ; 
not, however, until many of our brave and 
distinguished officers and men had fallen. 
One hundred and eighty-eight men and 
officers killed and wounded, was the result- 
ing loss on our part; and about an equal 
number of Indians killed, and probably an 
equal number wounded, was the amount of 
the Indian loss, in what was in fact the 
first battle of the war, publicly declared in 




the following year, and known in history 
as the war of 1812. 

Tlie battle of Tippecanoe ivas fouglit. 

This was on the morning of the seventh of November, 1811. 

The Kentucky Volunteers returned home. 
The 4th U. S. regiment was stationed at 
Fort Harrison and Vincennes until the 
month of May, 1812, when it marched for 
Ohio, and joined the north-western army, 
then fully organized, and having moved 
forward from the plains of Mad River, was 
encamped at Urbana, Champaign county, 
and the commanding officer was holding a 
council with the chiefs of the Wyandott, 
Ottoway, Miami, and other Indian tribes 
living within the boundaries of the State of 
Ohio, for a peaceful passage of the army 
through the Indian territory, commencing a 
few miles north of Urbana, and extending 
with few exceptions to Detroit 

The imminence of war with Great Britain 
had become so great that in the winter of 





1811 and 1812, the general government 
deemed it necessary that a body of volunteers 

should be called for from the State of Ohio, 

to march on the opening of the season 

northward to Detroit, in order that this then 

remote frontier post should in all events be 

well protected, and in the event of war being 

declared, be in readiness to move promptly 

upon upper Canada. 

Three full Regiments were called for, 
and the men composing this force promptly 
responded to the call. They marched ir 
detachments from the southern, the central, 
and the south-eastern parts of the State, 
under the direction of Governor Meigs, for 
the plain?, of Mad River, three miles above 
Dayton, there to choose field officers and 
fully organize. 

Brigadier-General William Hull, then 
Governor of the Territory of Michigan, ar- 
rived from Washington City with his aids- 
dc-camp, Captain Hickman and Captain 



i I 

Abraham F. Hull his son,* on the 22ncl 
of April, 1812, and established his head- 
quarters at the Columbian Inn, at the 
south-west corner of Main and Second 
streets, Cincinnati, then the principal tavern 
in the town ; and during the last of April 
and first week of May, made his arrange- 
ments for the necessary supplies and trans- 
portation of the army. He then proceeded 
on to Dayton, and superintended the organi- 
zation of the Ohio volunteers ; and having 
completed his arrangements, in the last week 
of May commenced his line of march for 
Detroit, as commander in chief of the 
north-western army, as it was now styled. 

* Captain Hull, afterwards, at the desperately contested 
and bloody battle of Lundy's Lane, on the 25 th day of 
July, 1814, gallantly fell at the head of his command in the 
last charge of the enemy ^ just as the moon was letting at eleven 
o'clock at night; and is buried where he fell, in the little 
graveyard on the crest of the ridge, then occupied with a 
battery, which four hours previous had been so gallantly 
carried by Colonel Miller ol our old 4th, then of the 21st 




He had become old and quite fat^ and had 
evidently lost the energy as well as the 
valor, that thirty-three years previous had 
given him the post of honor with Anthony 
Wa'Xx^e, in carrying the fortress of Stony 

The Cincinnati Light Infantry with which 
I was connected, was commanded by 

Captain, John F. Mansfield, a gentle- 
man and a soldier 

Lieutenant, Stephen McFaeland, a good 
and generous hearted man. 

Ensign, Thomas Heckewelder, a mer- 
chant and an excellent man.- 

Orderly Sergeant, James Chambers, a 
well known and esteemed citizen. 

The members of the company were young 
men, merchants, artizans, and tradesmen, 
all of the highest respectability. 

This company was at the organization of 
the army attached to the 3d regiment, in- 
stead of the 2nd, which was composed of 
volunteers from Hamilton, Warren, and 



other conterminous counties in the south- 
western part of Ohio. 

It marched for Dayton, together with 
several companies of the 2nd regiment, on 
the 14th of May. 

As before stated, the army halted at 
Urbana, and the commanding general held 
a council with the Indians through whose 
territories it ha& to march to reach Detroit. 
Their assent was given with apparent and 
averred friendly feelings ; no opposition 
was encountered ; the weather was warm and 
pleasant. The dense forest extending with 
but few exceptions, the entire distance, 
furnished shade in day time and shelter at 

The marches were easy, as a wagon trace 
had to be opened, and block-houses as 
posts had to be built at several points. The 
army passed through the wilds of Ohio, 
reaching and crossing the Maumee River 
at the foot of the rapids in fine health, on 



the 30th c:^ Jund ; and on the 3rd day of 
July first heard 'of the Declaration op 
War, which had been made on the 18th of 


« yr^^-'.',^'"'r9^ 

t • 







July 3, 1812. — At 2 o'clock, p. m., whilst 
under march, near the River Raisin, we 
received dispatches from Washin'2;ton City, 
announcing the Declaration of War 
against England. The late Judge Shaler, 
of Pittsburgh, then a young man, was the 
bearer of the dispatches. 

During the forenoon of Saturday, the 4th 
of July, the army reached the River Huron, 
after passing some miles through a heavily 
timbered swamp. The river where struck 
was deep, with the water near the surface 


of the ground ; banks perpendicular, width 
perhaps fifty or sixty feet. A floating 
bridge, made of the timber of the vicinity, 
and transported by a large fatigue force, 
was constructed in a short time; so that 
the entire army, with all the baggage and 
stores, was passed over the river before 
sunset. We bivouacked in the prairie in 
front; the grass in which was then at an 
average height of about three feet. 

July 5th. — The army passed the Indian 
council ground at Brownstown, crossed the 
River Rouge^"^ advanced and encamped at 
" Spring TTeZZs," estimated at that time to 
be from three to four miles from the Fort 
of Detroit. 

July 6th. — Monday, the Fourth Regi- 

* This river was then called the Rouge by Americans, 
and by most of the French ; and the E* course by other 
French inhabitants, from the fact that their ancestors had 
obtained, from along its banks, the hark of trees in large 
quantities, for the covering of their rude dwellings at the 
period of their earliest settlement, transporting it by their 
bateaux and canoes to the shore of Detroit. (The strait). 




mont U. S. Infantry marched to the fort, 
and occui)ied it. 

July 7th. — The volunteers marched, and 
took position near the fort on the south, west 
and north. Arrangements were now made 
by procuring a large supply of bateaux 

to move on Canada. 

July 8th. — Orders were issued for the 
army to be in readiness to march and cross 
the river at 2 o'clock the next morning. 

July 9th. — This morning at 2 o'clock, 
A. M., the army moved up the bank of the 
river in the following order : 

1. The Fourth U. S. Regiment, Lieuten- 
ant Colonel James Miller. 

2. The First Regiment Ohio Volunteers, 
Colonel Duncan McArthur. 

3. The Second Regiment Ohio Volun- 
teers, Colonel James Findlay. 

4. The "^hird Regiment Ohio Volunteers, 
Colonel Lewis Cass. 

The advance column reached a point 
parallel to the lower end of the island 




(then called Hog Island or Isle Descochon), 
the columns wheeled by the right into line, 
by which movement the Third Regiment 
volunteers became the right of the army. 

It was now daylight of a delightful 
bright summer morning. The whole line 
entered bateaux, which had on the preced- 
ing evening been taken from opposite the 
fort, down the river, to a point o^j' ^ .. ;; 
Sandwich, in order to mislead the encxxiy 
as to the place selected for our advanoe, 
and had been brought back to this point 
after 12 o'clock. 

The Cincinnati Light Infantry were on 
the extreme right. We, together with Cap- 
tain Mansfield, Orderly James Chambers, 
the late Elias Sayre, John Highway, John 
Lawrence, and others entered the bateaux 
furthest down the river. These bateaux 
were a class of boats used by the Canadians 
in their voyages on the lakes, and as tra- 
ders carrying their stores. They had no 
deck ; were merely large skiffs. 


The flotilla proceeded very r^Jgularly and 
handsomely dressed in line, the right a lit- 
tle in advance. Standing in the bow with 
Captain Mansfield, in looking to the left, 
we could see every boat, and distinguish 
each regimeut. On passing the middle of* 
the river, our wing gradually gained fur- 
ther in advance; and as our Captain was 
very watchful as we neared the shore, lest 
some on our left should push ahead out of 
line, in order to gain the shore before us, 
he gave orders in an undertone to the oars- 
men to give headway. The result was, we 
struck shore more than a rod in advance of 
any other boat, and our company had 
landed and formed in column as the head 
of the advance, before the center und left 
had reached the shore 

We were not attacked on landing, as we 
had expected. Oblique to the right, and 
on a bluif quite near to where we landed, 
was a strongly built mill (it was still stand- 
ing in 1856 the last time I was in Detroit), 

mm ■ ■ 



and we thought it more than probable that 
our enemy, who is ever ready for a fight in 
time of war, had placed and masked a light 
battery within it, which, with their sharp- 
shooters, might annoy us considerably be- 
fore our advance in force would have 
caused their precipitate retreat. But we 
met with no resistance. 

We marched down the road along the 
bank of the river, to a point opposite the 
town, presenting a fine appearance from the 
opposite shore, according to the description 
of those who witnessed it. The inhabi- 
tants (nearly all Canadian French) wel- 
comed us as friends. White handkerchiefs 
and flags waved from every house, and the 
.xpression, "We like the Americans," 
came forth from every dwelling. 

A vacant, unfinished two story brick 
house, still standing in 1856, belonging, it 
was said, to a Colonel Babie, with extensive 
grounds, became the head quarters and 
entrenched camp of the north-western 

e that 
^ht in 
I light 
ly be- 
ut we 

ig the 
te the 
)in the 
) wel- 
id the 




ing, it 


army in Canada. The roof of the house 
was shingled, the floors laid, and the win- 
dows in; otherwise it was entirely unfin- 
ished. A partition of rough boards was 
put up on each side of the hall, which ran 
entirely through the house. General Hull, 
with his aids, occupied the north half of 
the house. General James Taylor, late of 
Newport, Kentucky, Quarter Master Gen- 
eral of the army, with his two assistants, 
occupied the south side. The entrance to 
the hall and its use was common to both. 
The councils of war were held in the second 
story, over the room occupied by the com- 
manding General, access to which was had 
by a rough stairway. A free and unre- 
stricted, confidential intercourse existed. 
Everything was known to us. Each day's 
events and incidents were freely communi- 
cated. General Hull and his son. Captain 
Hull, lodged most of the time at head 
quarters. General Taylor, being unwell, 
lodged in Detroit. Major Taylor Eerry, 






Assistant Quarter Master General, and my- 
self, attended tp the duties of our office 
every day, and lodged in it every night, 
except a few nights when I was out on 
reconnoisances with the troops. 

I state these facts with more particular- 
ity, in order to show that my official posi- 
tion of acting Assistant Quarter Master 
General of the army, and my unrestricted 
personal intercourse with the officers at 
head-quarters, gave me all the facilities 
which could be desired for obtaining cor- 
rect information on every point. And I 
may further state that in accepting the ap- 
pointment, I reserved the right to join my 
company whenever ordered on duty beyond 
the camp, in which a reconnoisance of the 
enemy's position or an advance upon his 
lines, might lead to a conflict with him or 
his allies, the Indians. 

Here the army lay for four weeks, during 
which time a detachment under the com- 
mand of -Colonel McArthur marched up 


the River Thames, and returned with large 
supplies of flour, wheat, beef cattle, and 
between eight hundred and a thousand 
sheep. The latter were all sent over the 
river, and ranged at large on the extensi-ve 
common back of the Fort, and there re- 
mained until after the surrender of the 
army, when I saw the Indians busy killing 
them, and appropriating the fine mutton they 
afforded to their use. 

A reconnoisance in force under the com- 
mand of Colonels McArthur and Cass, 
marched to the vicinity of Maiden, carrying 
the enemy's battery posted at the bridge 
over the Canard River, 14 miles from our 
camp, and 4 miles r.bove Maiden. Another 
reconnoisance by the Light Infantry and a 
small detachment of the 4th XJ. S. regiment 
commanded by Captain Snelling, was made 
about the 20th of July, by whiVh it was as- 
certained that the enep-y had withdrawn 
his out post at the " Canard" bridge, and 
had stationed the Queen Charlotte off and 

'> s I 



.' I 

1 1 




near the mouth of the Canard River, in 
position of observation. 

Another movement was then planned by 
the same officers and others, to construct 
some floating batteries, place a 24 pound 
gun upon each, and with the addition of a 
few gunners and sailors, then in Detroit, to 
descend along the shore of the river on the 
first dark night, and board the Queen 
Charlotte, and from her deck call on the 
commanding general to march the army 
and enter Maiden. This project was not 
sanctioned at head-quarters, and all that 
could be obtained was j^er mission to make a 
further reconnoisance, and ascertain the pre- 
cise position of this vessel. In making this 
reconnoisance it was intended if possible to 
carry her by boarding ; but the attempt, 
for the want of the batteries and sailors, 
did not succeed, particularly as the night 
brightened after 12 o'clock, so as to discover 
us to the enemy too soon. At this time the 
enemy had posted a small Indian force on 

ver, m 

led by 
1 struct 
ti of a 
oit, to 
)n the 
n the 
s not 
e to 
on . 


the line ot our communication with the 
State of Ohio, and had captured the bearer 
of despatches from head-quarters as well as 
private correspondence, which of course were 
taken to Maiden. General Hull therefore 
ordered Major Vanhorne, of the 2nd regi- 
ment volunteers, with two companies of 
Infantry, a part of a company of volunteer 
cavalry, together with a part of a company 
ol rifles, to escort the mail and despatches, 
as well as a few gentlemen belonging to the 
commissary department returning to Ohio. 
He proceeded down the same road the 
army had marched up on its approach to 
Detroit, and on reaching a point nearly 
opposite Maiden, about the centre of Gros 
Isle, well selected for the purpose by the 
Indians, was attacked, and after the loss of 
some brave men and officers, compelled to 
make a precipitate retreat back to the Fort. 
This little discomfiture, together with the 
reception at head-quarters of information 
that Fort Mackinac had been caj^tured by 

I 'a 

! I 



the enemy, appeared to have alarmed the 
commanding general, and to have divested 
him of all self possession or control over his 

From the 20th July, the army was in 
daily expectation of orders to march on 
Maiden. The ei emy's weakness was well 

As General Hull, in his endeavors to ex- 
tenuate the act of his surrender, alleges, 
among other causes, the want of subsis- 
tence for his army, I will here state that 
on a morning early in August, whilst in 
conversation with one of his Aids, at the 
front door of head-quarters, a respectable 
looking man was passed in through the 
guard, approached, and said he wished to see 
General Hull. The Aid informed the Gen- 
erali who walked to the door, when the per- 
son, after salutation, said, " General, as 
your chief commissary is absent, I have 
taken the liberty of calling and saying that 
I have one hundred head of cattle, which 


I can deliver in a day or two." General 
Hull replied, "I do not want them; I 
have plenty ;" turned and walked into his 

On the evening of the 7th August, it was 
reported in camp that the army would 
march on Malden during the night and 
early in the morning. At 11 o'clock tents 
were struck and loaded, and the wagon 
train was moving; but instead of moving 
down the road, in the direction of Maiden, 
was driven to the landing, and taken by 
ferry boats across the river, and stationed 
on the common, north of the fort. 

Orders were issued during the niglit to 
hredk up camp, and recross the river to 

The most profound astonishment and 
indignation, at what was felt as a disgrace, 
pervaded the army. 

The opinion universally prevailed, and 
was openly expressed by officers and men, 
that the Commanding General had com- 

'wiUFVT'''' »■ jr' 

ji i| i^igjiivnii* ^MM/ 




'->'■ i\- 

mitted an unpardonable and ^^tal error in 
not having marched the army upon Maiden, 
to which he was repeatedly and earnestly 
• urged, to my personal knowledge, when 
the extreme weakness of the enemy was 
well ascertained by our reconnoisances and 
secret service, fully confirmed by deserters 
coming into head-quarters every morning. 
His force having been reduced by de- 
sertion from six hundred and sixty Cana- 
dian militia to one hundred and sixty; 
from one hundred Indians under Tecumseh 

to sixty, and having but two hundred and 
twenty-five regulars ; it was also known that 
the British officers had already sent their 
most valuable effects on board their vessels 
in the port, preparatory to a precipitate 
evacuation of the post. Yet no one, except 
those near the Commanding General, had 
the most distant idea that he had thought 
of giving up the post of Detroit, or surren- 
dering the army; a post which could not 
have been taken by any force the enemy 

i >, 

V i 



could have brought against it ; and an army 
with an abundance of subsistence; at this 
time, according to the official report of the 
Brigade Major, acting as Adjutant General 
of the army, numbering 2,300 effective 
men, well sui^plied with artillery, indepen- 
dent of the guns of the fort and advanced 

On the 9th of August, a strong detach- 
ment was marched down the road, with or- 
ders to attack the enemy who had crossed 
from Maiden in force, and taken up a posi- 
tion nearly opposite the center of Gros Isle, 
cutting our communication with Ohio. The 
detachment reached them at 3 o'clock, 
p. M.; immediately charged upon their lines, 
and drove them three miles to their boats, 
when, as it had become dark and raining, 
the most of them escaped to Maiden. 

In this action the numbers on each side 
were about equal. The British brought 
into the field a large part of their regulars, 
together with all the Indian force, tho 

' m 

hi I 

nil I 





whole under the command of Major Muir. 
Our attack upon their position, which was 
strengthened by temporary breast works, 
formed of logs and fallen trees, was dashing 
and entirely successful. 

The communication with Ohio was opened, 
and the enemy defeated. The next day 
the detachment, after sending forward the 
mails and dispatches, returned to the fort. 
Our loss was rather larger than that of the 
enemy (sixty-eight men), as the Indians 
had the first fire from behind their logs and 
trees ; they were prevented, however, by our 
charge and pursuit, from having another. 
This action was known in the army as the 
battle of Magaugay about fourteen miles 
below Detroit ; it was afterward known as 
the battle of Brownstown. 

We here met a very great increase of 
Indian force which had recently joined the 
standard of Tecumseh, who, as we ascer- 
tained a few days afterward, had, on the 
receipt of intelligence of the fall of Macki- 




nac, dispatched his runners to all his 
associate tribes to assemble at Maiden im- 
mediately; that the fort at Mackinac had 
been taken by the British forces ; that the 
American army had shown, by not march- 
ing on Maiden, and by the easy discomfi- 
ture of several detachments, that they 
would not fight; that the braves should 
come forward with all speed, so as to par- 
ticipate in the capture of the army, and 
share in the plunder, which would be great. 
His appeal was promptly responded to. So 
that instead of but sixty men under his 
command, as so lately had been the case, 
he now had nearly six hundred ; and by the 
16th seven hundred warriors had joined 
him, who, as a body, were probably never 
equalled; certainly never excelled in the 
annals of Indian warfare. They were no- 
ble specimens of their race. 

A suspicion strongly grounded and deeply 
felt on the part of the most active and in- 
telligent of the volunteers, had now risen 

h ■ 



to such a point, that there was no longer 
any confidence reposed in the valor or 
patriotism of the Commanding General. 
A consultation was held, and it was de- 
cided to get up a Round Robin, as it was 
called, addressed to the three Colonels of 
the Ohio Volunteers, requesting the arrest or 
displacement of the General, and devolving 
the command on the eldest of the Colonels, 
McArthur. This was on the 12th of Au- 

On the following day it was reported that 
an armistice, or at least a temporary cessa- 
tion of hostilities, had been agreed upon by 
the BriLoh authorities, and our armies on 
the Niagara and northern frontier, and 
that Major General Brock, Governor of 
Upper Canada, an officer of high reputation, 
had arrived at Maiden to conduct their 
operations in this quarter. 

The suspicion and distrust of the army 
was increased by General Hull's peremp- 
tory refusal to allow that distinguished 


officer, Captain, afterwards Colonel Snelling, 
(after earnest and repeated solicitation) to 
cross the river in the night, to carry and 
destroy an unfinished battery, which was 
being constructed from the cellar of a house 
on the opposite bank, and close to it, under 
the direction of Captain Dixon of the royal 
artillery.* This was the only battery of 
any consequence established by the enemy, 
and the only one that injured us. It opened 
on the afternoon of the 15th, and continued 
its cannonade during the morning of the 
16th, when one of its balls struck and in- 

* Captain Dixon was afterwards taken prisoner at the 
attack of Fort Stevenson ; he narrowly escaped death at the 
time, and only escaped, as he informed me, by being in the 
act of leaping the ditch at the moment of the deadly dis- 
charge of the cannon from the little block-house bastion, at 
the south-west angle of the Fort, the balls and grape 
passing under his feet, and killing every man who had 
entered the ditch in making the assault. This discharge of a 
single cannon, (and they had but one,) directed for the 
moment by the gallant Croghan in person, literally filling 
the ditch with the slain, with the simultaneous fall of 
Colonel Short their commander, repulsed the enemy. 

■ 'li 





1' ' 









stantly killed Lieutenant Hanks, who had 
been in command at Mackinac, was then a 
prisoner of war on parole, the vessel in 
which himself and command had been sent 
down from Mackinac having been brought 
to by our water battery. The British 
journals did great injustice to this officer by 
asserting that he, when killed, was in the 
Fort as a combatant, breaking his parole ; 
when in truth he had but called to see an 
army friend of his, and was standing in the 
gorge of the north-east bastion in conversa- 
tion with him when struck by the ball. 
The same ball passed on and mortally 
wounded Surgeon Reynolds of the third 
regiment volunteers, by taking off both 
legs above the knee. 

Thursday, August 13th, arrived. It had 
now become absolutely necessary that the 
greatest vigilance should be maintained by 
our guards, and that the outlying pickets 
should be greatly increased. 

The Brig Adams, built and just repaired 



at the mouth of the river Rouge, had been 
towed up by a party under the command of 
Captain Kyle, of Clermont county. She 
had her masts and spars, but not her sails 
or armament, and was anchored in the river 
just above the foot of the street running 
down by Smith's Tavern. On this evening 
(13th) the guard on this vessel was enjoined 
to observe especial watchfulness, lest the 
enemy should attempt under cover of the 
darkness of the night to cut her out. And 
in addition to the usual guard on deck, a 
small bateau with men was stationed at 
her bow, and another at her stern, whilst the 
officer in command occasionally visited each 
in a small bark canoe j)ropelled without 
noise. At eleven o'clock, on placing the ear 
close to the surface of the water, the sound 
of quick, though precise stroke of oars was 
heard, the sound became more distinct, and 
there was soon seen by the dim starlight a 
small bateau rapidly approaching the 
landing at the foot of the street, containing 



l4 i 








two men at the oars, and two sitting aft. On 
being challenged, the boat came up, and one 
of the gentlemen gave the word and counter- 
He was well known, and known to 


have the confidence of the commanding 
general more than any other oiiicer, and in 
almost every instance had been entrusted 
with the duty of intercourse by flag, with 
the enemy. The other gentleman appeared, 
as near as could be judged hy the dim light, 
to be young, well formed, of military bear- 
ing, and as they both left the bateau and 
walked up from shore, seemed rather taller 
than his companion. They directed their 
steps to the head.quartcrs of the command- 
ing general and entered it, remaining three 
hours ; they then returned to the boat, 
crossed to the Canadian shore ; the boat 
came back ; one of the gentlemen only was 
in her. He g'lve the word and passed on. 

At that time, on that nigbt, the capitula- 
tion of the Fort and surrender of the north- ^ 
western army was agreed upon. The parties 


to that agreement were General Hull, and 
on the part of the British, Major Glcgg, one 
of the aids-de-camp of General Brock. 

This is a historic fact which Major Glegg, 
if alive will corroborate, as after the war in 
1815, at a hotel in Philadelphia, he com- 
municated his participation in the act as 
above stated to the late quarter-master 
general of the north-western army, General 
James Taylor, of Newport, Ky. 

Previous to this time a reinforcement, as 
was stated of two hundred and thirty men 
under the command of Colonel Henry Brush, 
of Chillicothe, Ohio, convoying supplies, in- 
cluding one hundred head of cattle, had 
arrived at the little French settlement, 
known as French town, at the crossing of 
the River Raisin, thirty-five miles from the 
Fort. Here they halted in consequence of 
the threatening attitude of the enemy, and 
reported to the commanding general. Com- 
mon military conduct would seem to indicate 
the marching oi such part of the army as 

1 ■*■:-' 



would in any emergency be equal to any 
effort of the enemy, in the direction of these 
supplies, and on the nearest route down the 
main road until they were met, and then of 
conducting them to the Fort, giving the 
enemy battle, whenever and wherever he 
should make his appearance. 

This was the expectation of the army ; but 
contrary to this, orders were issued from 
head quarters on the afternoon of Friday, 
the 14th of August, for a detachment of 
about 360 men, under the command of the 
Colonels of the first and third regiments of 
Ohio Volunteers, the former acting as senior 
officer, with directions to march at twilight 
on the line of a circuitous route or trail, 
which passed by the river Rouge, several 
miles above its mouth, and continued far into 
the interior, passing the Huron, and striking 
the Raisin, passed down that stream or near 
it, to French Town. Accompanying the order 
was a message to the Colonels, that Colonel 
Brush had been ordered to move from his 



camp up this route, and would doubtless be 
met between the Rouge and the Huron, and 
at a distance not exceeding twelve miles 
from the Fort ; but if he should not have 
advanced so far, the detachment would con- 
tinue its march until he was met. The 
officers of the detachment believing that 
they would meet Colonel Brush and party, 
and return with it to Detroit by two or three 
o'clock A. M., and desiring the troops to 
march light and rapid, directed that no food 
or baggage be taken along, not even their 
blankets, nor would they detain for supper. 

This order at the time excited no parti- 
cular suspicion. The course adopted was 
attributed to timidity, over-ruling sagacious 
and prompt military conduct on the part of 
the commanding general. But here all 
were deceived, as no order had been sent to 
Colonel Brush, to move in the direction 
stated, or to move at all. 

The sole object of the movement was to 
reduce the active force at the Fort, prelimi- 

r • 






nary to carrying into eifect the capitulation 
which had already been agreed upon, to get 
rid of a large number of officers and men 
known to be keenly sensitive to an honor- 
able success, and had been openly hostile to 
the inaction of the army when in Canada, 
and to the recrossing the river, and who, if 
present, would unquestionably have resisted 
to the extremest point, regardless of all or 
any consequences, any attempt to surrender 
the Fort or the army. 

The detachment marched at dusk, cross- 
ing the common directly in the rear ol the 
Fort westward for near a mile, entered the 
forest and followed a path which at length 
intersected the road leading from Spring 
Wells to a small settlement of two hewed 
log two-story houses with gardens enclosed 
by split paling fence, which stood near the 
bank of the river Rouge. The wagon 
road passed in front ot these houses and 
along the bank of the river for a consider- 
able distance. Here the detachment halted, 



seven miles from the Fort by the road. At 
this point looking down the course of the 
stream, I saw at a bend of the river, ap- 
parently a quarter of a mile distant, a 
single horseman, the bright starlight re- 
vealing his figure against the dense foliage 
around him. Struck by the object, I turned 
to my friend Captain Mansfield, of - the 
Cincinnati Light Infantry, to direct his at- 
tention to it, but before he could catch the 
view the horseman wheeled and disap- 

As it was possible there might be a mis- 
take in this, that it might be an optical de- 
lusion, we made no mention of it till long 
afterwards, w^hen we had read General 
Brock's account of the capture of the Fort 
and army, contained in his despatches to 
his government (not the account as pubb* ohcd 
in Niles Register), in which, after stating his 
arrangements for his intended attack, says,, 
that lie ivas more especially induced to an 
immediate attach in consequence of Ids scout 

& ! 











having brought in the information on the 
niylit of the 14th, that a large detachment of 
the enemy had ^^^n seen under march^ three 
mile in the r* f the point selected for his 

He landea near Spring Wells on W\r 
morning of the 16th, at which time his 
scouts had brought him the intelligence that 
this detachment was on the preceding 
evening (15th), thirty-eight miles in his rear. 

This official statement of General Brock 
completely solved all doubts or mystery in 
regard to the preconcerted arrangement for 
a capitulation, and elucidated the plan by 
which General Hull carried it into effect, 
which he had evidently contemplated prior 
to the re-crossing the river, and had fully 
determined on, and arranged with Major 
Glegg, acting for General Brock, three days 

The detachment moved on ^\e miles 
further to the point at which Colonel Brush 
was to have been met. We neither saw or 



heard anything of him, and after a halt of 
some hours, at 2 o'clock a. m. of 15th, con- 
tinued the march, crossed the Huron at the 
ford, water waist deep, nothing but a trail 
through the forest, marched without again 
halting until 4 o'clock p. m. having reached 
the upper waters of the Raisin. Plere the 
detachment halted and a part of a troop of 
horse was sent forward, down along the 
route to within twelve miles of the settle- 
ment of French Town. They returned at 
6 o'clock p. M. and reported no sign of 
Colonel Brush. lie had evidently not left 
his camp. The detachment being now from 
thirty-five to forty miles from Detroit, com- 
menced its return march ; a suspicion flashed 
across the mind of many that something- 
disastrous was to occur ; though even yet no 
one suspected the commanding general of an 
arranged plan for a capitulation. It halted 
for an hour at 1 o'clock a. m. on the 16th, 
and then proceeded. At the first dawn of 
day, cannonading was heard in the direction 


■A, t, 






of the Fort; which continued at times with 
considerable briskness, till about 10 o'clock, 
when it ceased ; from which we judged that 
the enemy had crossed the river below the 
town, had marched up, made an attack, and 
of coiii'se having been repulsed, had re- 

If the firing had continued until the de- 
tachment had reached the little settlement on 
the river Rouge, it would have entered by 
the Spring Wells road, and have come in on 
the left flank and rear of the enemy, and 
doubtless as we believed, would have cap- 
tured the entire of the British forces, as 
they would have been between the fires of 
our volunteers in front of the Fort and ours 
in their rear. The Indians would have 
given way as soon as charged upon with the 
bayonet, as they had at the action at Magu- 
aga or Brownstown, and as they always 
have done. 

Entertaining these exhilarating hopes, 
although without food for so long a time, 




the troops composing this detachment with- 
out exception appeared stimulated by the 
anticii^atcd and hoped for conflict, and re- 
joiced in the expectation of achieving a fine 
affair, and having after all satisfaction for 
their hard tramp. With these high and 
cheering expectations they not only marched 
in double quick time, but actually kept up 
with the slow trot of the horse for at least 
twenty miles, when the cannonade having 
ceased, they resumed their usual march, and 
without once halting, until they arrived at 
about 1 o'clock p. M. at the edge of the 
woods which we had entered two nights be- 
fore; when to our utter astonishment and 
indignation we beheld the British Flag 
floating from the flag staff of the Fort, and 
the Indians in the extensive common before 
us busy taking horses and cattle. 

The Fort of Detroit and the North- 
western Army had been surrendered ! 
Our detachment as we soon learned, and 
even Colonel Brush at the River Raisin 



were included. Colonel Brush, however, 
decided that he would not be surrendered. 
He detained the British Flag sent to inform 
him of the capitulation, in polite duress 
only long enough to give his good fellows 
with their hundred beeves a good start for 
Ohio, where they all arrived safely. 

Here we may pause to record some of 
the momentous consequences of this most 
disastrous and infamous act, the surren- 
der of a numerous and well appointed 
army, with a strong fortress. 

The whole country was dishonored ! The 
Volunteers of Ohio, composed of the 61ite 
of the State, young men of energy, tal- 
ent and patriotism, many of whom in 
after life became her governors, legislators, 
senators and representatives in congress, 
and not only established and directed her 
civil destinies, but also gave to territories 
of the union their highest officers, and to 
the general government some of her ablest 
representatives abroad and statesmen at 




home. They were dishonored, and their 
State was dishonored. Truly the " weapons 
of war were vilely cast away,'* not by those 
who, with brave minds and quick hands, 
would have wielded them to the destruction 
of their country's enemies, but by him, who, 
as a national calamity, and a scourge upon 
a brave people and a righteous cause, had 
been, in a fatal hour, appointed to their 
chief command. 

And above and beyond all this, the entire 
northwestern frontier was thus uncovered. 
The Indians far and near, w^ith a few tribal 
exceptions, now joined as British allies in 
the war. All the evils arising from a 
great Indian war upon an extended frontier ; 
all the blood shed at the massacre at Fort 
Dearborn ; at the defeat of Winchester on 
the river Raising at the defense of Fort 
Meigs ; at the defeat and capture of Dud- 
ley's Regiment at the Maumee ; and during 
the protracted continuance of active hostili- 
ties throughout the northwest, with the 



great loss of life, independent of the slain, 
together with the immonse national expense 
incident thereto, from this day up to the 
battle of the Thames, were the fatal results 
of this most disastrous act; an act appar- 
ently so little appreciated or comprehended 
as to its consequences by the Commanding 
General at the time, that he, evidently 
under the influence of extreme timidity, ra- 
ther than encounter the enemy and achieve 
an important advantage by marching upon 
Maiden and occupying that important post, 
to which he was so strongly urged, sank into 
the most lamentable condition of imbecility. 
This or treason can alone account for his 
conduct, and a merciful feeling, as well as a 
mature judgment, points to the former ra- 
ther than to the latter as the over-ruling 
cause, on his part. 

In order that those who come after us, 
and shall occupy the domain of the old 
northwestern Territory, at a period of time 
when, by the acts of civilized man, there 



shall no longer be a wilderness, or an In- 
dian tribe within its vast limits, may the 
better comprehend the condition of our 
country at this time, I may state tL«,t 
only the eastern and southern parts of 
Ohio were settled, and that even these por- 
tions of the State were but thinly peopled. 
By drawing a line from near Cleveland on 
Lake Erie, to the falls of the Ohio River, 
all north and west of that line, with the 
exception of a few old French posts, with 
their feeble settlements, was, as it respects 
our race, an unbroken wilderness, an un- 
touched forest, occupied by powerful Indian 
tribes, with no other defences than what 
the feeble stockade posts, known as the 
Forts Wayne, Dearborn, Harrison and the 
really strong fort of Detroit afforded. This 
fort, constructed according to the plan of 
the most skillful engineers, situated as it 
was, to command and control the great cen- 
ter of Indian power, a most important posi- 
tion from which to move on and control 


i "I: 
1 ; ;■■■ 

; I 



> •■ 

i'i^ ■] 





Upper Canada ; a safeguard and protection 
to our frontier settlements during the con- 
tinuance of the war, so important to us in 
every respect, sliould have been maintained 
above all others^ at every hazard and at 
every sacrifice. This was the judgment, 
and this was the feeling of every intelligent 
man in the northwestern army. 


We recur to our subject : The detach- 
ment of the army, whose movements we 
are narrating, on viewing the enemy's flag 
floating from the^fort, and with a glance 
of the eye, seeing that there could be no 
recovery; that the deed was fully done, 
had no course left but to countermarch to 
the River Rouge, and taking position in 
the two vacated log houses and gardens be- 
fore mentioned, proceed to deliberate upon 
the course best to be adopted under the then 
existing circumstances. They had to take 
into consideration 

First That the troops had already been 





under march for two days and two nights 
without any subsistence. 

Second. That it would require a further 
march of from forty to fifty miles to arrive 
at Col. Brush's encampment, where subsist- 
ence could be had. And it was extremely 
doubtful whether we should find him there, 
as the enemy after the capitulation could 
detach the greater part of his Indian and 
some of his civilized force to move upon 
him, and by marching directly down the 
road, could easily reach him several hours 
before we could, and would probably oblige 
him by their numbers and annoyance to 
break up camp, and reach Ohio by forced 
marches ; or if he should have heard of the 
capitulation by any other means, he would 
doubtless have lost no time in reaching a 
point of security for his men and valuable 

Third. And then, and above all other 
considerations in importance, they had no 
ammunition to support a prolonged action ; 

i^ \'\ 

■t«iimwni.»f(i.i'|i.i""i 111 J 111 )»,iFw^<w Will 

i||,«nW<H, l,i| > 



having merely the contents of their car- 
tridge boxes, which, on an attack of the In- 
dian force alone, (being 600 warriors), 
either on the march or in position, would 
ia all probability have been exhausted in 
two hours. 

With this state of facts, there seemed no 
reasonable alternative but to send in a flag, 
and ascertain what disposition, if any, had 
been made of this part of the army, with 
the determination that if it was not honora- 
ble on their part, they would give battle in 
defense of their log houses and picket gar- 
den, and by a hard fight win an honorable 
surrender when victory had become impos- 

In the dusk of the evening, their flag 
(Captain Manb^^eld) returne4 accompanied 
by ColoDel Elliott and Captain McKee, 
both heretofore mentioned. 

The detachment having been included in 
the capitulation, marched in by the Spring 


Wells road; stacked their arms opposite 
to, and entered the citadel — so called — be- 
ing an enclosure of perhaps two acres, sur- 
rounded by sixteen foot pickets of squared 
cedar, within which were the officers' quar- 
ters, public stores and other buildings. It 
was 10 o'clock at night ; repose was sought 
for rather than food, with the greater num- 
ber, a fast of fifty-six hours, with such a 
tramp, and above all when attended with 
such extreme disappointment and mortifica- 
tion, had destroyed all desire for food. 

The next morning, obtaining from Major 
Muir, the officer of the day, in immediate 
command, the privilege of passing from, 
and re-entering at pleasure, several of the 
volunteers of the late detachment directed 
their course to Smith's tavern for breakfast, 
after a fast of sixty-six hours. 



At 12 o'clock of the 17th, the British 
celebrated their achievement — no one called 
it a victory — ^by firing a salute from the 



esplanade in front of the fort, General 
Brock, with his aids. Majors MacDonnel 
and Glegg, appearing in full dress. 

They used on this occasion one of our 
brass six pounders, which had been ta- 
ken at the great revolutionary triumph at 
Saratoga, on the 16th of October, 1777, 
which was recorded on her in raised letters 
of brass. Her fire was responded to by 
the Queen Charlotte, their crack vessel on 
the upper lakes, which came sweeping up 
in the center of the river, and directly in 
front replied to each discharge, wearing 
ship with swan-like grace at each alternate 



Whilst awaiting the approach in position 
of the vessel. General Brock, with his 
aids, one on each side, stood two rods from 
the gun, and obliquely to its left front. I 
had been engaged with the British Quarter- 
master for a supply of bateaux, in which to 
cross the lake to Cleveland, and being now 



with him on the ground, approached the 
gun to read the inscription, which I did 
with interest, when one of the Aids, notic- 
ing me, approached, and inspecting it, re- 
marked with a smile : " We rrnist have an 
addition put to tliat^ ^retaken at Detroit, 
Augicst 16, 1812.*" General Brock was 
an officer of distinction. His personal ap- 
pearance was commanding; he must have 
been six feet three or four inches in height ; 
very massive and large boned, though not 
fleshy, and apparently of immense muscu- 
lar power. His Aids were elegant young 
men, very near if not quite six feet in height, 
and in their splendid uniforms, all three 
presented a brilliant appearance. But how 
transitory and evanescent the gratification 
of that day and that event. In a few short 
weeks, less than two months, on the 13th of 
October, 1812, two of these noble men and 
gentlemanly officers, had fallen. At this 
distant day, I feel it due to myself and to 
them, to record the sentiment of regret 



which impressed itself upon my mind, 
when the announcement came that General 
Brock and Colonel MacDonnel, public ene- 
mies as they were, had terminated their 
earthly career at Queenstown. 

Our much regretted brass field piece, 
with her glorious revolutionary record still 
upon her, untouched and unscathed, came 
again under the folds of the stars and 
stripes at the battle of the Thames. And 
the Queen Charlotte^ the first war vessel 
we ever saw in full armament, which looked 
like " a thing of life " as she sailed up the 
noble stream, with her flags and streamers 
flaunting in the breeze, fell from her high 
estate of that day of gaiety and triumph, 
and forever ended her career of honor in 
that great struggle for power on the upper 
lakes on the 10th (tenth) day of Septem- 
ber, 1813, when her flag descended upon a 
bloody wave. 

I saw her afterwards dilapidated and 
despoiled (like some ruined mortal), per- 

• ■I> 



forming the drudgery of a common carrier 
in the harbor of Buffalo. 

But I am wandering from .the facts and 
incidents of the time, and will regain my 
subject by bringing into view some of the 
agencies by which the late events were in- 
fluenced; first among them was that to 
which I have already referred, 


Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost, 
Commander in Chief of the British forces 
in Canada — ^headquarters, Montreal; Ma- 
jor General Isaac Brock, in command of 
the upper province, headquarters at York 
(now Toronto), found themselves on the 
declaration of war with but a few battal- 
ions of regular troops, with which to occupy 
and defend all the posts from Quebec to St. 

A part of a company only was stationed 
at the latter place; a part of two com- 
panies of the 41st regiment at Maiden; a 



battalion divided between Fort Erie, Fort 
Ge5rge, and Burlington Heights, merely 
sufficient to take care of these posts in time 
of peace, and serve as centers or rallying 
points for the assembling of their Indian 
allies and the few inhabitants capable of 
bearing arms. 

The declaration of war was unexpected ! 
The American Government having, from 
the time of the Chesapeake in 1806, put up . 
with so many injuries and indignities, it 
was thought in Europe that the American 
people could not be " kicked " into a war 
with England. Taken thus by surprise, 
and finding that the northwestern army, in 
great comparative force, had invaded Upper 
Canada early in July, these experienced 
Generals sought such expedients, and the 
creation of such temporary resources as 
would enable them by concentration on 
weak or exposed points, to divert our atten- 
tion until they could receive reinforcements 
from home. 

' ■ » 



Finding that General Hull, instead of 
marching directly upon Maiden with iiis 
overwhelming force, and occupying that 
post immediately on his invasion of that 
remote and defenceless portion of the upper 
province, as they and all other persons of 
military experience had expected, that he 
remained in his entrenched camp opposite 
Detroit without any apparent indications of 
a movement in that direction, they resolved 
upon a proposition of an armistice on the 
line of the St, Lawrence and the Niagara 
frontier^ as an expedient most likely to 
afford them an advantage, by giving them 
an opportunity to act against General Hull, 
and especially to gain time, which they so 
much needed. 

The delay of action, and cessation of hos- 
tilities, along this extensive portion of their 
line, which would be secured during the 
time of making the overture, and receiving 
an answer from our seat of government, 
especially with the then difficult and tedious 




means of communication, would afford them 
sufficient time to detach a few troops from 
the posts below, when, by a dash on the 
position of General Hull, they might suc- 
ceed in frightening him into a surrender, or 
at least cause him to retreat from his ad- 
vanced position, and evacuate the province. 

To carry this stratagem into effect. Ad- 
jutant General Edward Bayne was dis- 
patched by Lieutenant General Prevost, 
with a proposition for an armistice to Gen- 
eral Dearborn, commander of the North- 
ern Army, at whose headquarters at Al- 
bany he arrived on the 4th of August. 

The proposition was accompanied by a 
message delivered in the very courteous 
language of his accomplished Adjutant 
General, so diplomatic indeed that it has 
been adopted by the statesmen of England, 
when addressing themselves to the kind 
feelings of our ministers at her court, at 
times when soft words, rather than argu- 
ment, could be best made use of. 





•*Sir George Prevost, entertaining the 

* most friendly feelings for General Dear- 
*B0RN, whom he has had the honor to 
'meet, * * regrets extremely that the 
' two nations should have been by mere ac- 

* cident precipitated into a state of war, * * 

* is confident that his sovereign would meet 

* an offer of peace and friendship with great 

* anxiety ; that all questions heretofore ex- 
' isting would doubtless be settled ; * * ♦ 
4hat England justly engaged in a long 

* and glorious war, most anxiously looked 

* forward to an honorable peace with all 
' the world. And above all there should be 
'no war between two nations of the same 
^origin, the same lawSj and the same 
^ religion,^ ^ 

General Dearborn engaged to transmit 
the proposition to the President. 

At that time there was no conveyance by 
steam power, either by water or by land ; 
and no telegraph,, The most rapid means 
of communication was by couriers on horse- 




back. The object of the proposition was 
gained — thirty days of time. From Mon- 
treal to Buffalo nothing was spoken of but 
the "armistice !" 

Flag after flag from the British side of 
the line announced the pleasing fact, and 
the assurance of the speedy settlement of 
all difficulties. The frontier villages of 
New York were tranquilized, and with the 
exception of these few villages, nearly the 
whole line of our northern frontier, from 
Buffalo to Vermont, was a thickly and 
heavily wooded wilderness. 

General Brock, anticipating the success 
of the stratagem, proceeded to collect such 
force as he could prudently ^vithdraw from 
his posts, and by much exertion succeeded 
in organizing a few militia; at the same 
time making arrangements for their tran- 
sportation to Fort Maiden, and as soon as 
advised, by express, of the result of the 
proposition, dashed ahead with his forty 
men of the 41st Regiment, detached from 


the little garrison of Fort George, and two 
hundred and sixty militia, striking Lake 
Erie at Long Point, seventy miles above Fort 
Erie, so as not to be seen or heard of by 
the Americans. 

He left Long Point on the 8th, and ar- 
rived at Amherstburg, near Fort Maiden, 
as heretofore stated, on the 12th of August. 
He found everything favorable. 

General Hull had already broken up his 
camp and recrossed the river in the night 
of the 7th and morning of the 8th. He 
also received at the same time the addi- 
tional and most gratifying information, 
obtained from intercepted dispatches, that 
General Hull had, at a Council of War, held 
prior to this date, spoken of the probabil- 
ity of his having to capitulate at no dis- 
tant day. 

Thus everything appeared to give as- 
surance of success, without the risk of a 
battle or the of a man. General Hull 




had only to be a little more frightened and 
then summoned. 

On the 13th he rcconnoitered the position 
of his enemy, and receiving, whilst at the 
little village of Sandwich, a flag from Gen- 
eral Hull, with some excuses as to the 
burning of a house in the afternoon after 
his evacuation of Canada, detained the flag 
until ki^e at night, and then dispatched his 
Aid, Major Glegg, with the return flag to 
General Hull, demanding a surrender of 
the fort and army, as heretofore stated. 

On the 14th our detachment was selected, 
and marched out from position near the 

General Brock remained quiet all this day. 
On the 15th he established his headquar- 
ters at Sandwich, nearly opposite "Spring 
Wells," making his arrangements for cross- 
ing the river. In the evening Captain 
Dixon's battery opened its fire upon our 
wagon train, stationed on the common near 
the fort, on its north face (the horses being 




in stables in the village near the river), 
and was replied to by our water battery of 
seven 24 pound long guns situated near the 
river at some distance above the upper 
angle of the esplanade, commanded by 
Lieutenant Daliba. No injury was dono 
on either side. 

The communication of General Buock 
to General Hull, of the night of the 
13th, by his Aid, Major Glogg, with a per- 
emptory demand for the surrender of Fort 
Detroit, containing these words of terrify- 
ing significance to him, was subsequently 
redated as of this day as follows : 

"Headquarters, Sandwich, Aug. 15, 1812. 

" Sir, the forces at my disposal authorizes 
" me to require of you the immediate sur- 
" RENDER of Fort Detroit. It is far from 
"my inclination to join in a war of exteu- 
"mination; but yon rmist he aware that 
" the numerous body of Indians who have 
** attached themselves to my troops will j]e 

! 1 






'* ISAAC BROCK, Major General. 
*' His Excellency, Brig. Gen. Hull, 
" Commanding at Fort Detroit." 

On the 16th, at early dawn, Dixon's bat- 
tery reopened fire, which was replied to 
as on the previous evening, one ball only 
entering the fort at about 9 o'clock, as 
heretofore mentioned; no other damage 
occuring during the cannonade. 

General Brock simultaneously crossed 
the river, and landed at "Spring Wells;" 
formed in column, and marched up to with- 
in ONE MILE of the fort and halted. His 
Indian force, organized and led by Tecum- 
seh, under the command of Colonel Elliott 
and Captain McKee, landed two miles be- 
low, and moved up in the edge of the 
woods west of the common, keeping a mile 
and a half distant The strength of his 
force, according to his own report to Lieu- 
tenant General Prevost, was 30 Royal 

» t. 


Artillery, 250 41st Regiment, 50 Royal 
Nevvfoundland Regiment, 400 militia, and 
about 600 Indians, to which were attached 
three six-pounders and two three-pounders. 

We will now read • what he says he 
intended to do with his little force : 

" / crossed the river with the intention of 
" waiting in a strong position, the effect of 
^^ our force upon the enemy's camp, in the 
** hope of compelling him to meet me in the 
^' field; hut receiving information upon land- 
" ing that Colonel Mc Arthur, an officer of 
" high reputation, had left the garrison three 
** days before with a detachment of five hun- 
** dred men, and hearing soon afterwards 
^^that his Cavalry had been seen that 
"morning three miles in our rear, I 
" decided on an immediate attach ! — by as- 
" saidtl Brigadier General ILdl, however, 
^^ prevented this movemeyit by itroposing a 
^'cessation of hostilities, ''' etc. 

This is too transparent to be noticed 
seriously. In the first place we will look 


at General Hull's reply to his demand for 
a surrender of the fort, as of the date of 
the 15th, in which he uses these brave 
words : 

" / have no other reply to make than to 
inform you that I am j^rej^ared to meet any 
force which may he at your disposal, and 
any consequences which may result from 
any exertion of it, you may thirik proper 
to make,'^ etc. And then, behold the 
evanescent character of all the valor that 
had produced this display of heroic rhetoric, 
when at 10 o'clock the next morning he in- 
vites his enemy to receive his surrender of 
the fort and army without even firing a gun ! 

And then as to General Brock's state- 
ment, that he first learned on his landing 
that morning, of the march of the dctacli- 
ment, when in fact the march of that detach- 
ment entered into his arrangement with 
General Hull on the night of the 13th; 
and he had been informed by his scouts 
every three hours, after it left the fort, of 

I » 


its advance into the interior; and on its 
march far into the interior, he well knew 
depended all his hopes for a consummation of 
the arrangements made with General Hull ; 
and all that he says about having been in- 
formed that the *' Cavalry (being the head of 
the column) of our detachment had been seen 


when it was, at 4 o'clock of that moruing, 
thirty-one miles from Spring Wells, and 
that this fact induced him to march on the 
fort, and make " an immediate assault,^'' was 
evidently made up to help his miserable 
imbecile enemy, by concealing the truth of 
his previous arrangement with him. The 
whole thing, evidently gotten up in a hurry, 
wears a most clumsy appearance as nar- 
rated in his official report transmitted by 
Major Glegg, and delivered by him to 
Lieutenant General Prevost, at Montreal, 
and which, together with the flag of the 
4th United States Regiment as a trophy, 

was forwarded by that officer to Earl Bath- 




urst, one of the principal secretaries of 
State of his government, and officially pub- 
lished in London. To march forward with 
730 men and five- small guns to attack a 
strong fort, mounting and having under 
her walls twenty-six pieces of ordnance, 
mostly of large calibre, loaded with ball 
and grape, with 1940 men, posted in and 
around the fort, and to make an escalade 
without a ladder or a facine, and then with 
the 360 men of our detachment at his 
heels, pushing him in the rear, and hurry- 
ing him on, presents to the world the evi- 
dence of Quixotism or lunacy ! And Gen- 
eral Brock, most assuredly, was not the 
victim of either of these maladies. 

To enable the future to better under- 
stand the present, I will describe some of 
the obstacles General Brock would have 
had to encounter, provided he had been in 
earnest as to his attempt, with h's little force, 
to carry the fort by assault. It is a parallel- 
ogram, with strong bastions at each angle, 




surrounded by a moat or ditch, twelve feet 
wide at the surface, eight feet deep ; a pali- 
sade or abbatis of hard wood stakes, ten feet 
high out of the ground, sharpened at the top, 
and firmly set in the escarp at the base of the 
rampart, with an inclination of about forty- 
five degrees. 

The rampart, rising perpendicular twen- 
ty - two feet, pierced with embrasures 
for cannon, strong double entrance gate, 
with portcullis well ironed on the east 
front, protected by a projecting frame work 
of hewed logs extending over the moat, 
pierced for small arms, and a draw-bridge ; 
sally ports near the southwest and north- 
west bastions. A parapet, banquette and 
terreplein around the entire of the inside, 
in the bastions as well as the body, on the 
latter of which is mounted twelvje-pound 
and nine -pound guns, besides those of 
smaller calibre, and also two howitzers; 
each bastion having guns raking the moat 
and counterscarp. 





Standing on the banquette near the flag 
Btaff at the southeastern angle of the body 
of the work, and looking southward, no 
house or building intervenes. All to the 
south for two miles, and all to the west for 
one to one and a half miles, is a level com- 

The road from Spring Wells passes up 
across the public ground between the fort 
and the river. A few village dwellings are 
on the river side of this road before it 
reaches the public ground ; and a few farm 
houses on the west side, the last of which 
is that of Mr. May, whose iiirm adjoins it, 
with an orchard extending back to the com- 
mon, and as far as to range with the cen- 
ter of the southern curtain; fronting this 
Spring Wells' road, (and it is the only one 
by which the village is approached from 
Spring Wells,) are posted two twenty-four- 
pound field guns, two twelve-pound iron, 
and two six-pound brass guns. In front of 
the southern curtain, fifty feet in advance of 






the counterscarp, is one six-poundcr ; at the 
southwest angle is one nine-pounder and one 
six-pounder ; in front of the western or rear 
curtain is one six-pounder, one four-pounder 
and one three-pounder; at the northwest 
angle one nine-pounder and one four-poun- 
der, wuth arrangements to rapidly concen- 
trate at any point at which the enemy 
might show himself. In May's orchard is 
j)ostcd the 1st llcgimcnt of Ohio Volunteers ; 
next to them, and extending around to the 
center of the west curtain, is the 2nd Regi- 
ment, and then the 3rd Regiment, which 
covers the northwest bastion and wagon 
train ; whilst in the fort is the entire of the 
4th United States Regiment and a part of 
the Artillery companies. 

All these guns loaded with, hall and 
grape / all these troops well armed, and 
with abundant supplies of all kinds ! 

The most of the village is above the 
public ground, and between the road and 
the river, and in looking from the same 



stand-point northward, no house or building 
intervenes on the line of vision, or west of 
it; all is a common, extending one and a 
half to two miles above, and" one to one and 
a half miles westward to the edge of the 
original forest. Adding this to the portion 
south of the fort, and we see a vast open, 
grass covered common, on which is grazing 
all the cattle, and horses, and sheep of the 
inhabitants — scarcely a bush to be seen — 
no place for Indians, The entire of tho 
militia of Michigan — indeed all the inhabi- 
tants, well armed and supplied, stationed by 
their commander. Colonel Brush, of De- 
troit, in positions best to protect the village. 
With all these obstacles in full view, 
General Brock speaks of directing his In- 
dian force, the same Indians that seven 
days previous had been driven from their 
log breast-works and forest trees by a de- 
tachment of our volunteers of about an 
equal number, and chased three miles to their 
boats, these Indians to cross an open com- 



men, and attack our camp right under tho 
walls of the fort, whilst he made his as- 
sault ! when no one knew better than ho 
cad, that thirty minutes could not have 
elapsed before his whole force would have 
been crushed to death, or made prisoners of 

He possibly thought, as no sensible man 
acquainted with the facts would believe 
him in earnest, he might utter a few care- 
less words to shield his fallen foe. ■ 


August 17th.— T proceed with the inci- 
dents of the day: General Brock lost no 
time in returning to the Niagara frontier. 
Paroling the volunteers not to serve until 
exchanged, furnishing them with boats and 
vessels to pass the lake to Cleveland, send- 
ing General Hull and the regular troops to 
Montreal, and his militia to their homes, 
issuing his proclamation to the inhabitants 
of his conquered Territory, and leaving 
Colonel Proctor in command, he went on 



board the Queen Charlotte, and on the next 
day, the 18th, sailed down the lake, stop- 
ping at Fort Erie and Fort George, arriv- 
ing in triumph on the 22nd at his seat of 
government, which he had left on the 6th ; 
moved two hundred and fifty miles against 
his enemy, arriving at Maiden on the 12th, 
demanding a surrender on the 13th, receiv- 
ing it on the 16th ! Achieving the con- 
quest of a strong fort with thirty -eight 
pieces of ordnance, an immense amount of 
fixed ammunition for cannon and for small 
arms; a large supply of the material of 
war of all kinds ; * an army of 2,300 
cfibctive men, and one of the terkito- 
RiEs OF THE United States; all without 
any force of comparative strength, and all 
within eleven days ! If he could not, with 


* Copij of return made up by one of General TTuWa Aids and 
the lintish Quart crmnder in my presence, and furnished me 
Detroit, August 17, 1812. 

Return of Ordnance, Ordnance Stores, Small Arms, 
Fixed Ammunition, Munitions of War, etc., surrendered 


the renowned Roman, write " Veni, vidi, 
vici,''^ he could truly say, / came; I de- 
manded; I received! 

On the 30th of August, '>i 9 o'clock at 
night. Captain Pinckney, Aid-de-camp to 
General Dearborn, arrived at Montreal, the 
headquarters of Lieutenant General Sir 
George Prevost, with dispatches announc- 
ing the fact that "^/ic President of the 

with the Army at Fort Detroit by General llull, and re- 
ceived by General Brock, 16th August, 1812. 


Twenty-four-pounders, mounted in water battery 7 

Twenty-four-pounders, mounted on new field carriages.... 2 

Twelve pounders in and around the fort 8 

Nine-pounders in and around the fort 5 

Six-pounders, in and around the fort 3 

Twelve-pounders, not mounted ,..,. 4 


Six-pounders at the fort 3 

Four-pounders at the fort 2 

Three-pounders at the fort 1 

Eight-inch howitzer at tlie fort 1 

Five and a half-inch howitzer at the fort 1 

Mortar 1 

Iron, 29; Brass, 9. Total, 38 pieces. 
1,900 muskets and accoutrements, stacked by the ofTectivo 
men of the 4th United States llegimerit and the Ohio 



United States of America had not thought 
proper to authorize a continuance of the 
provisional measures entered into hy his ex- 
cellency and General Dearborn through the 
Adjutant Generaly Colonel Bayne, and that 
consequently the armistice was to cease in 
FOUR BAYS from the time of the communica- 

Volunteers upon the esplanade, as they marched from 
their positions in and around the fort. 
700 do., do., brought in by the militia of Michigan, and 

stacked upon the esplanade. 
450 do., do., brought in by the detachment and the corps 
of teamsters, and stacked in front of the citadel ; also 
a large supply in the arsenal. 
480 rounds of fixed ammunition for twenty-four pounders. 
600 rounds of fixed ammunition for six-pounders. 
840 rounds of fixed ammunition for twelve-pounders and 

other pieces. 
200 cartridges of grape shot for six-pounders. 
200 tons of cannon balls of different sizes. 
480 shells prepared and charged for mortar and howitzers. 
60 barrels of gunpowder. 
76,000 musket cartridges made up. 

25 rounds of cartridges with each man is 75,300. 
150 tons of lead. 
I 25 day's provisions on hand at the fort, beside the sup- 
plies at the river Raisin. 
These words added by W. S. H. : " With an abundanco 
of subsistence in the vicinity, beside the great number of 
cattle, sheep and horses feeding on the common." 



tion reaching Montreal and the posts of 
Kingston and Fort Oeorge.'^ Thus ter- 
minated the proposed armistice. 

I now proceed to give a sketch of one 
who has already exerted great influence as 
an auxiliary in the events narrated, and 
who, from this time forward, fills a conspic- 
uous and important station, and wields a 
controlling power in the future progress of 
the war in the northwest — the renowned 
Indian chief, the greatest of his race, 


I am aware that prejudice has at all times 
so influenced the mind of many persons, 
that they would not admit the existence of 
the attribute of greatness in any of the In- 
dian race ; at the same time they readily 
admitted that this extraordinary man ex- 
erted an immense influence over all the In- 
dian tribes, and possessed distinguished 
abilities as a warnor and orator. It is, 



■ > ' 



however, very clear, from the character and 
power of his mind, evidenced by his un- 
limited control over all others of his race 
for so long a time. The large and extended 
views and combinations requisite to draw 
into his league all the tribes from the Rocky 
Mountains to New York, and from Lake 
Superior to Florida; the unlimited devo- 
tion to his service and to himself, together 
with his great power as an orator, by which 
he swayed them and controlled them; all 
these furnished conclusive evidence of 
greatness, and of his being entitled to that 
high appellation. 

Tecumsch was nothing less than a great 
man, not of the first-class, as that is very 
limited ; liis birth formed an epoch in his 
tribal annals, from the circumstance of 
which he was looked upon as a prodigy 
from his first existence. lie was one and 
the youngest of three hrothers at the same 
hlrtli. This event, so extraordinary among 
the Indian tribes, with whom even a double 


birth is quijtc uncommon, struck the mind 
of his people as supernatural, and marked 
him and his brothers with the prestige of 
future greatness — that the Great Spirit 
would direct them to the achievement of 
something great. 

They were born in a cabin or hut, con- 
structed of round saplings chinked with 
sticks and clay, near the mouth of Stillwa- 
ter, on the upper point of its junction, with 
the Great Miami, then a pleasant plateau of 
land, with a field of corn not subject to 

These facts were communicated to mo a 
short time after the council at Springfield 
in 1806, (in the presence of Colonel Robert 
Patterson, one of the original proprietors 
of Cincinnati,) by General Simon Kenton, 
who was more familiar with the Indian 
chiefs and Indian triljcs of the northwest, 
at the period of their greatest power, both 
in war and. in peace, than any other man. 
lie stated that he well knew all the broth- 

■ 1 



ers; had been in the cabin, so situated, 
where they and the family lived, and that 
other Indians, whom he knew to be per- 
fectly reliable, and who were- intimately 
acquainted with the family of Tecumseh, 
had fully confirmed the above statement, as 
to the triple birth, and the location of their 
parents' residence at the time of their 

I am more particular in this account, as 
both the circumstances and place of their 
birth, have been variously stated by others, 
and particularly in what appear as the 
recollections of Colonel Dale, as written out 
by the Hon. Mr. Claiborne . It is very clear 
that Colonel Dale's recollections on this 
point were erroneous. His information 
must have referred to a remote ancestor of 
Tecumseh, as having married a Cherokee, 
perhaps his grandfather or great grand- 
father, instead of his father. If such a 
marriage ever took place, it must have 
been before the migration, which was as 


early as 1730. His father and mother un- 
doubtedly were both of the Shawanee nation ; 
and it is utterly out of the question that 
Tecumseh could have been born on the 

The Shawanees previous to their migration 
from North and South Carolina and Georgia, 
(as they had villages in all these states), were 
generally on good terms with both the 
Cherokees and Creeks ; and when they did 
migrate, crossed the Cumberland Moun- 
tains, through the Cumberland Gap, and 
passed on through the great hunting ground 
ot all the western tribes, (now the State of 
Kentucky), striking the waters of the Sandy 
River, descending along its course to the 
Ohio, which they crossed at the mouth of the 
Scioto; at which time they were full two 
thousand warriors strong. They ascended 
that stream, established their villages *' Old 
Town," on Paint Creek; at the Pickaway 
Plains^ "Old Chillicothe," above the 
present site of Xcnia, Greene county, (on 



d ' 

' I 

the ndns of which Harmar long afterwards 
encamped, when his first detachment sent 
out to find them was so terribly worsted,)* 
and on the Great Miami, between where 
Dayton now stands, and Piqiia, in Miami 
county. As I knew them, they were truly 
noble specimens of their race, universally 
of fine athletic forms, and light complexions, 

* At the commencement of the Anglo-Indian war of 1791, 
which I have spoken of in another place, so little was known 
of the north-western territory, its geography, the position 
and course of its rivers, that in respect even to that portion 
of it now included within the State of OMo, many errors 
of description were made and published. 

The confluence of the Muskingum, the Scioto, the 
Mianiis of the south with the Ohio, were well known, but 
their branches or afliueuts were involved in obscurity. To 
tliis cause we may very reasonably attribute the errois of 
Hahmar, made in his reports to the Secretary of War, 
describing the places where his conilicti with the Indiana 
toulc place during his ill-fated campaign. 

llarmar was from the east of the Alleghanies, an officer 
of the regular army, with no apparent capacity to conduct 
a campaign against such an enemy. 

lie marched with three hundred and twenty regulars from 
Ft. Washington, (a stockade enclosure with block-housis ; its 
Bite now between Broadway and liUdlow streets, divided 
by Third street in the City of Cincinnati,) on the 3Uth of 
September, 171)1, with orders to destroy the Shawanec Indian 
villages, on the Scioto, and then unite with the troops from 



none more so, and none appeared their 
equal, unless it was their tribal relatives, 
the Ottoways, who adjoined them. The 
warriors of these tribes were the finest 
looking Indians I ever saw, and were truly 
noble specimens of the human family. 

None, as they then were^ are now to bo 
seen upon the earth ! They have all passed 

Kentucky, then on the Wabash, and advance to the Miami of 
Lake Erie, destroying all Indian villages on the upper and 
head waters ol the Great Miami, the St. Mary's, and 
wherever found by the combined forces. 

He advanced northward about twenty-five miles, to a 
position on the Great Miami, at which Fort Hamilton was 
established in the following year, by General St. Clair, and 
there united with the Volunteer Militia troops from Ken- 
tucky and Pennsylvania, who had as the main part of his 
army already moved in advance, those from Kentucky 
being under the command of General llar.iin; his entire 
combined force amounting to fourteen hundred and fifty- 
three men. After considerable time employed in making his 
arrangements, and bringing on supplies, he moved north- 
eastwardly upon the chief town of the Shawanees, "Chil- 
LicoTiiK," situated about six miles north of the present 
site of Xcnia, Greene county, at which for many years the 
grand councils of the tribes of the north-west had been held, 
when consulting on their general interest, and especially in 
tlieir long continued strugirle to prevent the occupancy of 
their great hunting ground by the white race. I 

This celebrated town was on an emiueucc fronting and 



away! None but the vilest dregs of any 
of the Indian tribes of the old northwestern 
territory now remain. 

Those who understand the immense in- 
fluenco exercised over the minds of these 
people, by what they believe to be super- 
natural events, special workings of the 
Great Spirit, will not be surprised at the 

overlooking the rich meadows of the Little Miami. Its re- 
mains I examined as early as 1800, at which time numerous 
articles of Indian construction and use, stone battle axes, 
arrow heads, and various other things were scattered over 
the ground. 

On Harma*"'** approach he found the smoking ruins of a 
burned and abandoned village ; not an Indian to be seen. 
Thoy had sacrificed their "Moscow," and retired tm miles 
in the direction of the confluence of Mad River and the 
Oreat Miami ; took up an advantageous position, and awaited 
I larmar's movements, who played into their hands by sending 
a small detachment un.der General Hardin of but two hun- 
dred and ten men to attack them. This little detachment 
they cut to pieces. Harniar then sent his forces to the 
Scioto, wIjo destroyed without resistance their towns and 
tlioir crops on the bordera of that stream; when, as he 
allowed, having lost several of his horses, he abandoned the 
idea of joining the Kentucky forces on the Wabash, and 
broke up camp in order to return to Fort Washington ; but 
as he had not at this time become possessed of his brilliant 
ideas in regard to " Victories," " he fell desirous,"' as he 
said, "o/ wiping off in another " action the disgrace which his 


fact that when General Kenton was at 
the residence of this family, as hereto- 
fore mentioned, he found undiminished 
faith in anticipated achievements and bene- 
fits destined to be wrought and triumphantly 
secured to their tribe and race, by one or 
more of these remarkable brothers. 

In partial fulfillment of this anticipated 


arms had sustained." He Imltcd about eight miles from his 
camp, (the ruina of " Chillicothe,") ^^ late at nighty^ aud 
again detached General Hardin with but " three hundred 
and sixty men to find the enemy y and bring him to action" 
Early the next morning that intrepid and brave ofllcer 
reached the confluence of Mad River and the Great Miami, 
where he found the Indians in great force ; who with skillful 
manoeuvers brought him within their lines when his little 
detachment was, as in the case of the first, overwhelmed and 
nearly all destroyed. The skeleton of Hardin's little force 
regained head-quarters. 

New it was that Harmai in making his official report to 
the Secretary of War, conceived the grand idea of claiming 
as signal victories his two engagements with (he enemy, 
alleging that inasmuch as the United States with their vast 
population would not feel the loss of one hundred men as 
much as the Indians with their inferior number would feel 
the loss of one man, therefore he had obtained ^Uwo signal 
victories over ihem." 

Chief Justice Marshall, however, in recording these events 
could not see it in that light ; and history with unrcicutiug 




■' m 11111^ 






i ^r- 




6" — 



<%/ " .^.. 




"W/ ^%:* 

















^ %■ 






WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 





destiny, one of the brothers was soon after- 
wards proclaimed and publicly acknow- 
ledged as the "PRorHET of the Great 
Spirit," whilst another of them, Tecumseh, 
who at the council held at Springfield, in 
1806, to which I have heretofore referred, 
fully established his reputation as the great 
orator of his race, and rose to the distin- 
guished station of leader and chief warrior 
of all the tribes of the northwest. As this 

obstinacy, persists in calling such a complete cutting up and 
slaughter a defeat instead of a victory. 

Yet with all his knowledge on every other subject, so 
great was the obscurity in rcpect to the geography of our 
old north-western territory at that time, that the learned 
and astute Chief Justice inadvertently copied Harmar when 
he describes this last action as having taken place at tho 
junction of the " St. Joseph and 8t. Mary," when in fact 
Harnuir was not within one hundred miles of that important 

He returned to Fort Washington, and the few who formed 
the then little village of Cincinnati, condemned him for 
having fought his enemy with small detachments, instead of 
his. whole army. 

This last action, just above the junction of Mad River 
with the Great Miami, was the time and the field in which, 
as I have stated in another place, Tecumseh, then a mere 
lad of 16 years of age, made his advent as a youthful 



council was the time and the occasion, when 
his power and abilities as an orator were 
first brought to the knowledge of the public, 
and became fully acknowledged by our 
agents and citizens, as well as the Indian 
chiefs, who attended it, I will describe it. 
A white man had been shot and killed in 
the woods not far from the present site of 
Troy, in Miami county ; it was charged 
upon a Pottawatamie. The United States 
Indian agents, General Kenton and Colonel 
Patterson, demanded that he should be given 
up to be tried and punished according to 
our laws in conformity to treaty stipulations. 
The demand was evaded. The Indians 
were called in to hold a co.uncil on the 
matter at Springfield, Clarke county, then 
a new settlement of a dozen families. 
Three hundred Indians, from various tribes 
assembled ; all armed to the teeth. They 
were of course required to leave their arms, 
except their side arms, the tomahawk, 
(which was at that time made with the head 




I''. 41 














SO formed as to be a bowl of a pipe, with a 
hole in the handle through which to draw 
the smoke,) at their encampment on the 
creek, nearly a mile distant. 

The council was opened as usual, by pass- 
ing round the diplomatic pipe, the Indian 
emblem of peace, and token of amity and 
good will. The oldest chief present, Tarfee 
(or the Crane), principal chief of the 
Wyandots, one of the signers of the treaty 
of Greenville, 1795, commenced the cere- 
mony; none but chiefs and chief warriors 
were present, and they were all members 
of the council. They were arranged in a 
semi-circle, in front of the agent's stand. 
The ceremonies being concluded, the agent 
made a statement of the object of the 
council, the fact of the murder, the de- 
mand for the murderer, and the evident 
reluctance on the part of the Indians to 
comply with their treaty stipulations, and 
preserve a good state of feeling and conduct 
on their part towards us. The old chief of 




the Wyandots, and the chief of the Otto ways 
replied in a conciliatory style, with the usual 
expressions of good faith, and the desire to 
live on good terms with their white brethren, 
etc. All was apparently going on satisfac- 
torily, when Tecumseh arose and commenced 
his address. He continued his oration for 
three hours ; commencing with the first ag- 
gressions of the white men, and bringing 
down his traditional history from the first 
settlement at Jamestown and Plymouth to 
his own time. The effect of his bitter, burn- 
ing words of eloquence was so great on his 
companions, that the whole three hundred 
warriors could hardly refrain from springing 
from their seats. Their eyes flashed, and 
even the most aged ; many of whom were 
smoking, evinced the greatest excitement. 
The orator appeared in all the power of a 
fiery, and impassioned speaker and actor. 
Each moment it seemed as though, under 
the influence of his overpowering eloquence. 






% l\ 


*• 1 





I t 

they would all abruptly leave the council 
and defiantly return to their homes. 

On the conclusion of his address Tecum- 
sch stood for a moment, turned his back 
upon the agent's stand, and walking to the 
extremity of the circle opposite, took his 
seat among the young braves, glancing 
with lofty pride upon the agents. The 
interpreter then proceeded to give his 
version of the speech, but confessed after- 
wards that there were portions of it so 
grand, lofty, and powerful, that he could not 
pretend to reproduce them, and that there 
were other portions in which he had been 
describing the wrongs of the Indian race, 
inflicted by the white man, that were so 
defiant, so wrathful, so denunciatory, and 
so full of indignant abuse, that he dare not 
translate them, fearing that General Kenton 
would not put up with it, and that it might 
cause the breaking up of the council, and 
leave unsettled the important matter for which 
it had been called. On further consultation 



a reconciliation of the so nearly hostile 
parties took place. It being proved that 
the murder was the act of an individual 
as yet unknown, and not properly charge- 
able on any of the Indian tribes. 

It was not that there was any diminu- 
tion in the power which Tecumseh ex- 
ercised over the minds of all the tribes, 
nor any diminution of their confidence in 
his genius and destiny, that caused him to 
be left in July, 1812, with but sixty war- 
riors, nor was it that the hostile feeling 
on his part or on that of his Indian al- 
lies had in any measure lessened since 
the conflict at Tippecanoe, on the 7th of 
November previous ; nor had the incessant 
efforts of the British official agents to keep 
alive, and if possible increase that hostility, 
in any way been diminished or neglected. 
On the contrary, as the probabilities of war 
between the two countries, increased, and 
became more apparent, they redoubled their 


. '-i 

■.If ^. 
■ n 





active exertions to excite the Indians to the 
greatest degree of ferocity against us. 

They enlarged and greatly added to the 
variety and value of their usual presents, 
furnished them abundantly with arms and 
ammunition from Maiden, and took every 
means calculated to cement their bonds of 
friendship with them. 

The only cause of the diminution of the In- 
dian force under Tecumseh, at this time, 
was the display of power made by the 
marching columns of the northwestern 
army, in full view, over the wide prairies 
and open barrens between the rapids of the 
Maumee and the river Raisin. 

They appeared to be impressed with the 
belief that any effort on their part with 
their force, then in arms, whilst their Brit- 
ish friends were so feeble in number and 
power, as they then were at Maiden, would 
be unavailing of success against so great an 
army as ours. Therefore, three hundred 
and fifty warriors, who had participated in 

niSTOTlY OF THE WAR OF 1812. 103 

the bcattle of Tippecanoe, and up to this 
time were still held in council at Browns- 
town, between the Huron and Detroit, desir- 
ous of war, in their cause, anxious to keep on 
the best of terms with their powerful allies, 
from whom they received all their supplies, 
and, above all, unwilling to separate, even 
for a season, from their great leader. Yet 
seeing this great disparity of force, with no 
reasonable prospect of success, they all, 
with the exception of about one hundred of 
his most devoted followers, reluctantly 
abandoned for the time their then hopeless 
cause, and returned to their tribes, and in 
the event of the capture of Maiden, which 
no one doubted for a moment, they would 
not have again appeared in hostility against 
us. There would have been no Indian 
war; no massacre at Fort Dearborn, 
(Chicago), or at the river Raisin ; none of 
that vast waste of valuable life, indepen- 
dent of the slain resulting from exposure, 
fatigue, privation and suffering in the 

' ^"^ 



t ;«: 


),i d.\ 

I'll ' 





swamps of the northwestern wilderness, 
during the next ensuing two years. 

Those who have been familiar with the 
Indians of the northwest, when they were 
Indians, and took sufficient interest in them 
as a race to study with care their customs, 
laws and usages, are aware that when attend- 
ing councils with other nations or tribes, or 
with our agents, they arc always acting a 
partj a kind of diplomatic drama, and that 
their ^^war dance^^ is really a pantomime, 
exhibiting their art of war. The declaration, 
the march upon their enemy, the near ap- 
proach indicated by their crouching attitude, 
stealthy step and anxious, piercing look — 
the sight of their enemy; their yell and 
frantic dash upon him ; their struggle in a 
hand to hand contest ; the blows of the war 
club, and wielding of the tomahawk; the 
crushing and destruction of their foe ; the 
flashing of the inevitable scalping knife, 
triumphantly closing the scene with the 
evidence of victory; the bloody scalp held 


high in air, and greeted with a horrid yell ! 

All the ancient nations had their war 
cry; the Greek, the Roman, the Cartha- 
gcnian, all had their inspiring shout of 
onset at the commencement of a battle. 
Who has not heard of the slogan of the 
Scottish Highlander ? Yet I doubt not the 
^^ war whoop ^' and '^yelV of our Indians of 
the old northwestern Territory, was more 
terrific than any of them. 

It has been remarked that nearly all the 
races of which the human family is com- 
posed, possess some distinguishing charac- 
teristic feature, indicative of their ferocity, 
brutality, or of their refinement or benevo- 
lence. The descendant of Ishmael, the 
Aroib of the desert^ is said to carry the evi- 
dence of his treachery and cruelty, which 
have defied the influence of civilization for 
thirty centuries, in the form and expression 
of his mouth ; whilst our old northwestern 
Indians, almost without exception, as I ob- 
served them with interest, with the beautif id 






' ! 



mouth and teeth of the Greek in his highest 
civilization, presented to the observer the 
evidence of his ferocity and savageism, as well 
as his determined bravery, in his fiery eye ! 
lie is proud, candid, confiding in time of peace, 
never forgetting a kindness, or forgiving an 
injury ; not treacherous, except as a part of 
his war tactics, and brave in the fullest 
sense of the term. 

Such were the Indians of the old Shaw- 
anee, Ottoway, Miami and Delaware tribes, 
with whom I was most familiar, both in 
times of war and peace, in councils, in 
camps, on fields of conflict, and in peaceful 
intercourse, in the years 1804 to 1816. 

The Wyandotts, Chippeways, Winneba- 
goes, Pottawattomies and Kickapoos, occu- 
pying the northwestern Territory, at the 
same time, always appeared to me as in- 
ferior branches of the race. The superior 
and the inferior, alike however, have passed 
away, and given place to a race charged 
with a higher destiny, leaving behind them 


none but the shattered and wronged rem- 
nants of a mighty people, who, in fulfilling 
the inscrutable decrees of Providence in 
regard to them, yet linger upon the earth, 
many of them the miserable victims to the 
degrading vices of a boastful but treacher- 
ous and cruel civilization. 

The Indians occupying the geographical 
limits of the United States, and British 
possessions north of us, possess two exalted 
qualities of mind, lofty principles of action, 
noble traits of individuality, unchangeable, 
inherent, which, if accompanied by civiliza- 
tion, would have ranked them above all 
other races of men, and even without this, 
and in their present degraded, fallen con- 
dition, claim for them the sympathy, if 
they can not receive the respect, of all hon- 
orable and good men. 

They never worshiped idols. 

They never were slaves. 

They acknowledged one great, creating, 
overruling God, to whom they applied the 


I 'II 








I '■ 





perfectly correct term, the " Great Spirit," 
whose power they beheld in the storm, the 
lightning, the thunder and the whirlwind ; 
whose goodness and benign influence they saw 
and felt in the genial breeze, the early 
flower, the growing grass of the spring, the 
fowl of the air, the fish of every water, the 
multitude of animals given for their use, 
and fe ling on every plain, and every hill, 
and in every solitude ; and when they laid 
down at night, they beheld • His starry can- 
opy above them brilliant and glorious ; 
whilst all around them was their dominion 
and their home. They abhor as a crime, 
and lament as a loss, the wanton, reckless 
destruction of those God-given means of 
subsistence, so barbarously and cruelly in- 
dulged in by our portion of the white race. 

Always free! Every other race, every 
other people of the earth, are and have 
been slaves ! 

The BLACK race, always -slaves abroad. 

' ; 


and worse slaves to their brutal tyrants at 
liome ! 

The YELLOW race, never free, since their 
earliest tribal existence 

The WHITE race, the enslavers of all 
others, as well as themselves, always 
SLAVES in some form, they surrender their 
sovereign power of self-go vernmei^t, and 
yield their liberty and manhood to a Saul, 
or to a monied Aristocracy, a corrupt cen- 
tral power with a great public debt, either 
ol which enslaves them ; whilst the Indian 
walks forth upon the earth free as the air 
he breathes, knowing no superior, but the 
ever glorious Almighty God who made 
him, with a sublime pride, always ready to 
surrender his life, but never his liberty! 
Never basely dishonoring himself by be- 
coming the slave of his equal in creation, 
nor OFFENDING, in the highest degree, the 


deserting and abandoning the jpost of 7io7ior, 
the highest front rank of his earthly crca- 



I, I 



tion assigned Mm, and by his own infamy 
becoming the mere co-worker and co-equal 
of the brute. 

So has it always been with the black race ! 

So has it always been with the yellow 
race ! 

So has it always been with the white 
race; and so has it always been with our 
old Indian race! 

I place this upon record, as there can 
never be another " Phillip," or " Pontiac," 
or " Tecumseh !" 

'I • ■ 

The renowned "Prophet" lost his pres- 
tige and influence by precipitating his un- 
successful attack upon our army at Tippe- 
canoe, on the 7th November, whilst Te- 
cumseh was absent on his mission to the 
Chickasaws, Chcrokees, Seminoles, old allies 
of his tribe, arranging his plans, and bring- 
ing into his confederation or league all the 
tribes, to regain if possible their old boun- 
daries, and at all events to resist the fur- 

ii i 



thcr encroachments of the white race,* hav- 

* Tecumseh sought to establish it as the great national 
law of all the tribes, that no one tribe or nation should 
have the power to sell any part of their land, without the 
consent of all the tribes or nations ; and in his endeavors to 
establish this great principle, he visited many times, devot- 
ing all his energies and great talents with unceasing efibrt, 
every nation and tribe this side the Rocky Mountains, and 
from Lake Superior to the ocean, and at the same time com- 
bining all the Indian nations in a grand confederacy, to 
support this general law, by a war of resistance to the 
people of the United States in their encroachments upon 
them. This great subject employed every day of his time 
and every power of his mind, from the year 1804 to 1813, 
when himself and his cause perished forever. 

At an ofl5cial conference with General Harrison, then 
Governor of the Indiana Territory, at Vincennes, in 
1810, in answer to a question on the subject by the General, 
he asserted his policy openly and fully, that he was form- 
ing a grand confederacy of all the nations and tribes of 
Indians upon the continent, for the purpose of putting a 
stop to the encroachments of the white people ; and in hia 
argument in defense of his course, said, that " the policy 
which the United States pursued of purchasing in unceas- 
ing detail their lands from the separate Indian tribes, he 
viewed as a mighty wate , ready to overflow his people, and 
that the confederacy which he was forming among the 
tribes to prevent any individual tribe from selling without the 
consent of the others, was the dam he was erecting to resist 
this mighty water." He added in conclusion : " Your great 
Father may sit over the mountains and drink his mine; but 
if he continues this policy you and I will have to fight it out ! 

And oO it was. These two highly distinguished men 
did "fight it out." This "prophetic" declaration was verified. 
















ing given positive orders before leaving his 
camps on the Vermillion and at Tippecanoe, 
two months previous to the battle, that no at- 
tack upon the white man should be at- 
tempted, or in any way made in his absence. 
He was, therefore, greatly surprised and 
exceedingly indignant, when on his return, 
and reaching the upper Chickasaws, in wes- 
tern Tennessee, he heard that his brother 
had brought on and fought a premature and 
unsuccessful action; thereby interfering 
with his views, deranging his proposed 
plans, and above all, disobeying his orders 
as the universally acknowledged war chief 
of all. 

From this time the " Prophet " ceased 
to have influence, fell into obscurity, and 
was soon forgotten, or not thought of amidst 
the rapid changes and absorbing interests 
of the ever occurring vicissitudes of a gen- 
eral war. 

I j 




The personal appearance of this remark- 
able man was uncommonly fine. His height 
was about five feet nine inches, judging him 
by my own height when standing close to 
him, and corroborated by the late Colonel 
John Johnston, for many years Indian 
Agent at Piqua. His face oval rather than 
angular ; his nose handsome and straight ; 
his mouth beautifully formed, like that of 
Napoleon I, as represented in his portraits ; 
his eyes clear, transparent hazel, with a 
mild, pleasant expression when in repose, or 
in conversation ; but when excited in his 
orations, or by the enthusiasm of conflict, or 
when in anger, they appeared like balls of 
fire; his teeth beautifully white, and his 
complexion more of a light brown or tan 
than red; his whole tribe as well as their 
kindred, the Ottoways, had light complex- 
ions ; his arms and hands were finely formed ; 
his limbs straight ; he always stood very er- 




r 1 





'. ' 





ect, and walked with a brisk, elastic, vigorous 
step; invariably dressed in Indian tanned 
buckskin ; a perfectly well fitting hunting 
frock, descending to the knee, was over his 
under clothes of the same material ; the 
usual cape and finish of leather fringe about 
the neck ; cape, edges of the front opening, 
and bottom of the frock ; a belt of the 
same material, in w^hich were his side arms 
(an elegant silver-mounted tomahawk, and 
a knife in a strong leather case), short pan- 
taloons, connected with neatly fitting leg- 
gins and moccasins, with a mantle of the 
same material thrown over his left shoulder, 
used as a blanket in camp, and as a protec- 
tion in storms. Such was his dress when I 
last saw him, on the 17th of August, 1812, 
on the streets of Detroit ; mutually exchang- 
ing tokens of recognition as former acquain- 
tance, in years of. peace, and passing on, he, 
to see that his Indians had all crossed to 
Maiden, as commanded, and to counsel with 
his white allies in regard to the next move. 



ment of the now really commenced war of 
1812. He was then in the prime of life, 
and presaited in his appearance and noble 
bearing one of the llnest looking men I 
have ever seen. 

After the massacre at Fort Dearborn, in 
which he had no participation, being far 
distant, and the investment of Fort Wayne, 
we next see this chieftain in command of 
three thousand three hundred organized 
warriors,* surrounding Fort Meigs at the 
Maumee rapids, with his sword by his side, 
recognized as a Brigadier General in the 

* Eight hundred of the most valiant of whom were weU 
mounted; the principal officers armed with carbine rifles, 
pistols, tomahawk and knife, at whose head he, with his ever 
attending suite of young braves, the sons of principal war- 
riors, rode up the line of the Maumee, challenging General 
Harrison to come out of Fort Meigs, and give him battle. 
His challenge was in these words: 
" General Harrison, ' 

" / have with me eight hundred braves. You 
have an eqtial number in your hiding place. Come out vnth 
them and give me battle : You tdked like a brave when we met 
at Vincenncs, and I respected you ; but now you hide behind 
logs and in the earthy like a ground hog. Give me answer." 

" Tecumseh." 













1 1 

! i 



British service, and, after General Brock, 
he was the only general officer of talent or 
honorable conduct in the English army of 
the northwest.* 

Colonel Proctor, about this time pro- 
moted to the rank of brigadier general, and 
soon afterwards to that of major general, 
was one of the meanest looking men I ever 
saw. He had an expression of countenance 

* I have noticed that some writers have been in doubt 
whether Tecumseh understood or could speak our lan- 
guage. He did understand, and could speak nearly all the 
words in common use sufficiently ^/^ to hold conversation 
on ordinary topics ; but he never spoke any but his own 
language at any council, or when in presence of any officer 
or agent of any government ; nor would he attempt to 
speak in any but his own language when in company with 
any one, except with those toward whom he felt very 
friendly, or had private intercourse, and who did not un- 
derstand his own language. 

He always avoided speaking to any official agent of the 
British, or our government, e:.cept through his interpreter. 
His reasons were, that he especially desired not to be mis- 
understood ; he would not have his ideas misapprehended if 
he could prevent it ; and he was aware that in any discus- 
sion in language not perfectly comprehended, verbal and 
often very important mistakes would occur. His ideas of 
the honor of his people and race, precluded any official in- 
tercouse in any but the Shawanee lauguage. 

I mis- 
id if 

Is of 
[l in- 


in which that of the murderer and cowardly 
assassin predominated ; nor did he belie his 
appearance. His infamous massacre, or 
permitting the massacre of wounded pri'='- 
oners at Winchester's defeat, at the river 
Raisin, placed him beyond the pale of civ- 
ilized warfare, and subjected him, according 
to the universal verdict of public opinion, 
to have been shot down as an outlaw, when- 
ever or wherever afterwards met by any 
western man, especially by any Kentuckian. 

That there should be vile, cowardly, 
and of course, cruel Indian^; +o act as the 
willing instruments of such atrooit^ , is not 
to be considered singular, as no army has 
ever moved, whether American or Indian, 
but has been, and now is, infested with 
these most detestable followers. This, how- 
ever, is always an exception, and never 
chargeable to the valiant, honorahle, hrave, 
and of course humane Avarrior of whatever 

It was well for us that on our second en- 




fl ' ■ 


I i 

trance into Canada, in 1813, the counsels of 
Tecumseh did not prevail. At a council of 
war, held at Maiden, previous to the ap- 
proach of our army under General Harri- 
son, he urged upon General Proctor the 
necessity of meeting the invading forces as 
they landed below Amherstburg, and if 
there overpowered by superior numbers, to 
retire upon their line of retreat, and take 
up the strong position, protected by an ex- 
tensive forest and deep water, at the cross- 
ing of the Canard river. If driven from 
this position, to take another near the river 
Thames, retiring with all their supplies 
protected, and disputing every advance, 
until our army should be drawn far into the 
interior, beyond the Moravian towns, when, 
if necessary, all the forces of the upper 
province, such as could be brought from 
Burlington Heights, or other posts, could 
join them, and by continued harassing and 
vigorous struggles they would exhaust and 



overwhelm us, or at least oblige us to re- 
treat and leave the province. 

These views, however correct and sound, 
' met with no response from General Proctor. 
He, on the contrary, ordered a rapid flight ! 
Tecumseh rose abruptly to his feet, dashed 
his sword violently upon the table, and in a 
great rage denounced Proctor as a coward, 
"a miserable old Squaw," turned upon 
his heel and left the room. * 

Proctor lost no time in endeavoring to 
appease the wrath of his great Indian ally, 
by promising him that he would fight the 
invaders at the crossing of the Canard 

* General Harrison appreciated the soundness of these 
views as well as the talent and judgment of Tecumseh, if 
Proctor did not. In his communication to the Governor of 
Ohio, dated at Detroit, Oct. 11, 1813, six days after the 
battle of the Thames, he says : 

"Nothing but infatuation could have governed General Proc' 
tor*s conduct. The day that I landed below Maiden^ he had at 
his disposal upwards of three thousand Indians. The Indians 
were extremely desirous of fighting us at Malden. 
I enclose you Tecumseh's communication or speech to 
Proctor. It is at once the evidence of the talents 
OF the former, and the great defect of them in the 

LATTER," etc. 







i ) 

; '■! 




river and at the mouth of the Thames ; 
that ho would meet him on his landing, 
but for the fact that the enemy had all 
the ships and great guns upon them, 
with which he could kill them without 
their being able to reach him with their 
guns ; that he did not think it reasonable or 
proper to make a stand until he reached the 
woods of the Canard. When he arrived at 
the crossing of this stream, instead of fulfill- 
ing his promise, he again excused himself to 
Tecumseh, by stating that the Americans 
were bringing their ships up the Detroit 
river, and could fire in upon their flank with 
their " double balls," as Tecumseh called 
the shells, (of which he had a very high 
opinion, from witnessing their eflTect at the 
siege of Fort Meigs), whilst they were en- 
gaged in battle with them in front. There- 
fore he proposed to continue his march to 
the vicinity of the mouth of the Thames, 
and there select his ground and fight them, 
out of reach of their ships. 






On arriving at the place dosignatoJ, lio 
plead another excuse, that, although the 
Americans could not bring up their shi[ s, 
into the Thames, they could place their can- 
non in boats, and thus use them in the bat- 
tle ; and, therefore, it would be best for him 
to march still further up the river, and into 
the interior so far that the water would bo 
too shoal for the passage of their boats. 

Tecumseh saw that Proctor did not intend 
to fight ; that instead of ollering the Ameri- 
i 'W battle, his sole object was to escape 
fiv.-.i them ; that his previous promises were 
false and deceptive; and knowing that all 
hope of success in his cause [1.] — all pros- 
pect of achieving an advantage in his war 
against us, depended on the defeat of the 
American army, or obliging it to retii'e, after 
being harassed and fought in the wilds of 
Canada, he assumed the superiority that 
he possessed over him ; again denounced 
him for his cowardice, as well as his evi- 
dent treachery, declaring his intention from 


m ! 



- I 

! I 

1 1 : t 

*(;; !■ 

f ': 

thenceforth, to act as the chief commander, 
to which his own force entitled him, pro- 
hibited Proctor's advance, proclaiming that 
HE would march in advance, select his bat- 
tie ground, and if Proctor would not fight 
the enemy, he would have him scalped ! 

Tecumseh moved in advance, selected his 
ground, and it was well selected, fixed upon 
his plan of battle, put his forces in line, 
reviewed every rod of the field, and spoke 
to and gave orders to each of his chiefs ; 
obliged General Proctor to occupy the posi- 
tion assigned him — and it was the proper 

The battle of the " Thames " was fought! 
And whilst, from the moment that Colo- 
nel Johnson's regiment of mounted infan- 
try preppT'ed to charge on the British front, 
the commander of the British forces was 
seen fleeing for his life, the Indian chief- 
tain made his gallant stand upon his own 
and last selected battle ground ; and history 
has to record the fact, that when at last 




General Proctor was forced to give battle 
on the field selected by Tecumseii, he vilely 
fled, and left the ini fought field, his forces 
and his allies; whilst the heroic warrior, 
with the bravery ever shown by his nation 
and his race, breasted the storm of a crush- 
ing battle charge. And having fulfilled his 
duties as a great and humane warrior, [2] 
and his destinv as chief commander in his 
great cause, which was no other than the 
. cause of his race and people ; having 
achieved all that Providence permitted to 
be achieved in their behalf, closed in honor 
his earthly career [3]. 

In closing this chapter, I will again recur 
to the surrender of Fort Detroit and the 
northwestern army, by General Hull. 

There was no man of intelligence in tho 
army who did not believe, at the time, that 
the surrender had been pre-arranged be- 
tween General Hull and General Brock, 
who was well known to be an ofiicer of 
experience, and of high reputation, and 









■11 1 


ill 1 1 

. . I 

! 'I 

i; ! 







'. > ■ 








; j 




1 1 






when HE MAKCHED up his little force, as 
heretofore described, halted the head of his 
column in open view, and right in front of 
our batteries, beside the entire armament 
of the fort bearing on him, this general 
belief became irresistable. That this belief 
and these conclusions were entirely correct, 
the full, complete and perfect evidence 
afterwards obtained, as herein stated, has 
lully proven and confirmed beyond any 

The only uncertainty upon the mind of 
any one was, whether the surrender was 
negotiated from first to last by General 
Hull, under the direct influence of treason, 
or whether it was from cowardice. The 
evidence of cowardice was certainly ex- 
hibited by him. The first verdict of the 
entire army was, "treason," and this 
verdict was evidently a true verdict ; but 
whether it was the treason of the com- 
manding general, or the treason of others 
operating on his extreme timidity, was iha 









only question, and remains in History the 
only question. 

General Hull's official report of his sur- 
render, dated at Fort George, Canada, Au- 
gust 26, 1812, is filled with misstatements, 
evidently intended to extenuate his conduct 
and his acts. Some of his statements and 
reasons are really childish. He appears to 
be struggling under the pressure of con- 
scious guilt to stem and avert the influence.^ 
of an indignant public opinion, which, in 
unison with the opinion - of the army, had 
passed upon him. 

He says, in reference to the difficulty of 
obtaining supplies for the army from Ohio, 
that " on this extfsnsive roady two lumdred 
miles tliroiigli a wilderness, it depended for 
transportation of provisions , military stores^ 
medicine, clothing, and every other siij)ply, 
on PACK HORSES ;" instead of which the 
army had marched along that road, but six 
weeks previous, with an ar.ple wagon 

)l ,> 



uiHj i{ 



train,* conveying all ilie teiits^ baggage, 

stores, ammunition and eqnijjage of the 

army, drawn by horses and oxen; not a 

single "pack horse" was used on the 


' He further asserts, that on the 15th of 

August, ^Hhe whole effective force at his 
disposal at Detroit did not exceed 800 menP 
This is so glaringly false, that it is really 
a matter of wonder that he should have 
asserted it, especially as he knew that the 
daily reports of the condition of the army 
were regularly made up, and reported by 

* The late Presley Kemper, of Walnut Hills, a well 
known and respected citizen, and for some years one of the 
commissioners of Hamilton County, was wagon master of 
this train. He, with his train, had crossed over into Canada 
on the same day that the army crossed over, occupied a posi- 
tion in the entrenched camp, and his corps of teamsters had 
been supplied with fifty-two muskets, cartridge boxes, and 
ammunition. His train of fifty-one large four horse Pennsyl- 
vania wagons, recrossed the river on the night of the 7th and 
morning of the Sth of August, to the position assigned to 
them on the common, in a line northward from the northwest 
bastion of the fort, and close to it, and remained there in 
full view of General Hull's headquarters, until after the sur- 



the brigade major, acting as adjutant gen- 
eral, afterwards, and up to the day of his 
death, quartermaster general of the United 
States army, the late General Thomas S. 
Jesup. And these reports showed, what 
every officer knew to be true, that there 
were nineteen hundred eifective men at the 
fort on the evening of the 15th and morn- 
ing of the 16th. There wore, also, in the 
vicinity, our detachment of three hundred 
and sixty effective men, Colonel Brush's 
command at the river Raisin, and the en- 
tire militia of Michigan. 

General Brock, in his report to Lieuten- 
ant General Prevost, officially transmitted 
to London, and there officially published, 
sets down the number of our troops surren- 
dered to him, including Brush's command, 
and not including the militia of Michigan, 
at twenty-iive hundred men. In this he 
was correct, as all except Brush's force were 
set down by name, and recorded when pa- 
rolled, and sent home or taken to Montreal. 

' lliJ 





j I 

1 '' 



I i 


1 i 


Again, in speaking of the troops, "7mi 
w(jf 2)Cilfor77ied a laborious march; liaviiig 
heen engaged in a nicmher of battles and 
slilrmishes, in ivhicJi many had fallen, and 
more had received ivounds; in addition to 
which a large number being sick, and nn^ 
provided with medlcvtie, and the comforts 
necessary to their situation^ 

So far from this being the case, the army 
had a comparatively easy mrrch through 
the woods, at the most pleasc nt season of 
the year, from the last of May to the first 
of July, not too hot or too cold, with abun- 
dant supplies of all kinds, having first-rate 
new tents ; no forced marches, but frequent 
halts, only sufficient exercise to keep the 
army in good health ; and then it had been 
for a moidh at the end of its m,arch, with 
but few reconnoisances in force, or skir- 
mishes, or battles. 

Instead of being sickly, it was remark- 
ably healthy, and in fine condition in every 
respect. Very few were wounded or on the 




sick list; and as to the '^ sick heiiig nnpro' 
vided with medicine, and the comforts neces- 
sary to their situation,'''' the assertion was 
sheer nonsense, independent of being en- 
tirely destitute of truth. 

The annunciation of his surrender shocked 
the whole country, and fell with stunning 
force upon the mind of every man west of 
the mountains. 

It appeared incredible that a numerous 
and well appointed army, with a strong 
fortress, could be surrendered to the enemy 
with his feeble force, without a battle or 
disaster of any kind. But so it was; and 
by this act a great and bloody Indian war 
was brought upon us. 

The great gate of the northwest was 
thrown wide open ; free access to our unpro- 
tected frontier settlements was given, the 
dark hordes of the wilderness rushed upon 
them ; they were all destroyed. The wild 
WAR WHOOP not only " atval'ened the sleep 
of the ciridlc," whilst the ''flames of our 






dwellings illumined the path of the savage;^ 
but its fearful echoes broke upon the silence 
of night, along all our borders, all our wil- 
derness frontier, with terrific force, and 
warned the stoutest hearts to a present and 
bloody conflict. 




' ^ 



I have already noticed the *' Cause," the great 
object for which Tecumsch labored, and devoted 
all his time and all his power, from tlie time of his 
arriving at manhood, to the day when he laid 
down his life for it. 

His celebrated predecessor, "Pontiac," urged 
on and encouraged by the French traders and in- 
habitants of Canada, hoped to overwhelm the Eng- 
lish colonists, and force them to abandon all the 
country, except that contained within a narrow 
boundary along the sea shore. And when he had 
driven in the inhabitants of Pennsylvania almost 
to the Susquehannah, leaving but a few weak posts 
in the possession of the white man, he felt assured 
of success. And it was not until " Bouquet " 
one of th- ablest and most skillful commanders 




I Iflii 

that ever marched an army against our northwes- 
tern Indians, had beaten them at " Bushy Run," 
and relieved Fort Pitt, and the gallant Gladwin 
had most nobly maintained a protracted and vigor- 
ously conducted siege of Fort Detroit, in which 
" PoNTiAC," in person, displayed his greatest force, 
and exerted all his subtle strategy and skill, that 
finally paralyzed his efforts, and caused him, most 
reluctantly, to yield to the conviction that without 
the aid of ordnance, the skill to manage it, and 
the munitions of war possessed by the white man, 
it would be unavailing of success for him to at- 
tempt the reduction of forts and strongly fortified 
posts. With these impressions, which forced them- 
selves upon his judgment, he saw that his great 
struggle would be hopeless unless aided by some 
one of the nations of the white race ; therefore he 
slowly yielded the field, and closed, for the time 
being, his efforts in his great cause. 

From the termination of this great war of PoN- 
TIAC, 1765, to the commencement of our Revolu- 
tionary War, was but ten years. The Indians now 
beheld a new era, a new state of things, a new 
political division. A bloody contest had com- 
menced between the same members of the white 




10 m- 

race; tlioy saw tlioir old cncni'u:^, the supportor.s 
of the British Crown, occupying the territorial posi- 
tion ot their ohl frlaulHj the French ; whilst the 
people of the colonies, always their enemies, luul 
added to their acts of atrocity against them, by 
making encroachments upon their great hunting 
ground, and the murder of many of their people, 
which excited new fears, and intensified their ha- 
tred toward them. Therefore, as all the traders 
among them were English, and in English interest, 
assuming the same position in regard to them, and 
exercising the same influence over them that the 
French traders had possessed ten years previous, 
they were led to believe that the British Govern- 
ment was the most likely to be of service to them, 
especially in the event ot the colonies becoming a 
separate and independent power ; and in case of 
their subjugation they knew they would be on the 
strong side, and have claims to the protection of 
the British Crown. Our Revolutionary Annals 
exhibit many of their acts as allies in a united 

The treaty of 1783, between Great Britain and 
at that time our independent States, by no means 
ended the conflict, or removed the cause of war 



;J| ii 

♦ ; 

134 A cnAprr.R of the 

between the now, and for the first time known 
among nutions, "American peopi.k," and the In- 
dian tribes, as during thi- era, eoninieneing in 1775, 
a new and inexhaustible cause of war to them 
had arisen, producing, as it did, a h)ng and bloody 
struggle! Adventurers from North Carolina and 
\irginia, pioneers of the white race, had pene- 
trated their great hunting ground, always held 
sacred as a common park filled with game for the 
use of allf upon which no human being should 
have his home. These adventurers had, at the 
commencement of the war, already established 
themselves at Boonsborough, Lexington, Harrods- 
burgh. This invasion of the white man brought 
all the Indian tribes of the northwest to a general 
council, which was held at the principal town of 
the Shawanee nation, " Chillicothe," now marked 
on the map as " Old Town," above Xenia, Greene 
County. They decided that they had no alternative 
but to make freque" ' incursions at all seasons of 
the year, in such force as each tribe could furnish, 
and if possible destroy these settlements, and drive 
these aggressors from what they held to be their 
domain, their territory ; that in addition to those 
efforts by land, the tribes most convenient to the 



upper parts ot the Ohio River, moving out from 
the Muskingum, Kanawha, Scioto, and other 
streams in their canoes, should attack all the boats 
descending it containing families intending settle- 

From 1775 until 1791, this great struggle 
continued, at times with formidable force, always 
with bloody and destructive results. 

We now arrive at the time 1791, when Tecum- 
SEH, a mere lad as he was, began his active career ! 

The Indian had forever lost his great hunting 
ground ! 

The war in which they now engaged was their 
second crusade, and for the recovery of the boun- 
dary of the Ohio River. This they were prom- 
ised by English traders, English officers, and 
every Indian interpreter representing the power 
of Great Britain at Maiden, at the Maumee, at 
York; and this they greatly hoped for and con- 
tended for, (as I have mentioned,) from the defeat of 
Harmar and St. Clair, to the victory of Wayne, 
which closed their struggle and crushed their hopes 
lor the time. 
* The treaty of Greenville, 1795, was signed. 

Now it was that Tecumseh commenced that 





'iip' ■■ 


career which he ever afterward pursued. At St. 
Clair's defeat, and at the battlQ of the Rapids, he 
had established the character and gained the rep- 
utation of a YOUNG BRAVE of high promise. His 
ambition and genius caused him to take advantage 
of this; and from this day, accompanied by his 
brother, who a few years afterward became the 
renowned Prophety visited all the tribes; learned 
all the traditions of every old chief whose tribe 
had at any time occupied land, or had their home 
near the ocean, and had been driven to the interior 
by the encroachments or insidious acts of the white 
race. They learned the history of their peo2)le ; 
the unjust means always resorted to by the white 
r""n in obtaining their lands, and forcing them to 
remove from their long cherished homes. This was 
the school in which Tecumseh and the Prophet 
were educated. And from this time they exerted 
all their influence in opposition to every treaty 
made with us, and especially of every grant of 
land. In this they were ever consistent. 

They thus commenced their third crusade for 
the recovery of their old boundary, within which 
were the skpulchkp:s of their fathers, which, to 
them, was the holy sepulchre, and their fondly 








cherished, beloved homes upon the Muskingum, 
the Tuscarawas, the beautiful Miamis of the South, 
the fertile and delightful borders of the Scioto, the 

LAND OF THEIR EARLY DAYS, the losS of which 

they always deeply mourned. This was their 
« Holy Land." 

I have described the council of Springfield in 
1806, at which Tecumseh gained the reputation 
of being the leading mind and great orator that 
shadowed forth the renowned leader in the war 
of 1812. 

When hostilities between the British Govern- 
ment and the United States became threatening 
and the influence of British agents had become 
so great that the Indians commenced assembling in 
large bodies, as we have seen ia 1811, Tecum- 
SEh's prospects brightened. He was promised by 
all the British officers and agents at Maiden, at 
York, at Montreal (all of which places he visited 
in person, in order that he should know, from the 
highest representatives of British power, what he 
could depend on), that in the event of a war Se- 
tween the two Governments, if he would bring a 
large force to their aid in the northwest, he might 

i i ' 

I 1 


depend upon all the power of the King of Great 
Britain, all his warriors, all his ships which he 
would build on the great lakes, to reconquer for 
them all of the old northwestern territory, and 
never make peace with us until their old boun- 
dary OF THE Ohio Kiver should be- secured to 
them forever. 

This was the solemn promise to him and to his 
associate chiefs of all the tribes, in the summer of 
1811; and these promises were repeated at the 
commencement of the war in 1812. 

On the day previous to that on which the council 
of war, which I have heretofore mentioned, Y/as held 
at Maiden, Tecumseh addressed to General Proc- 
tor a communication in writing, by the aid of his in- 
terpreter, whom he always kept with him jifter his 
forces had become formidable, it being important 
that all requests or orders from the British officer 
in chief command, should be clearly understood 
by him, as well as that his vie>jjprand suggestions 
should be promptly and clearly understood by 

This communication is dated at Amherstburg, 
September 18, 1813, and made 

** In the name of the Indian chiefs and warriors 

■-'■• ''<■ - '■ 





to Major General Proctor, as the representative 
of their Great Father, the King." 
Among other declarations are these : 
" Father, listen to your children I You have 
them all' before youJ^ 

** When war was declared, our father stood up 
and gave ws the tomahawk, and told us he was then 
ready to strike the Americans ; that he wanted our 
assistance, and that he would certainly get 


**IAsten ! Our fleet has gone out ; we know they 
have fought ; we have heard the great guns," etc. 

*^ Listen ! The Americans have not yet defeated us 
by land ; neither are we sure they have done so by 
water," etc, 

**Iather, you have got the arms and ammunition 
which our Great Father sent to his red chil- 
dren. If you have an idea of going away, give 
them to us, and^^ou may go, and welcome for us ; 
our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. 
We are determined to defend our* lands, and if 
it be His will, we wish to leave our bones upon 
them /" 

Early in the spring of the year 1814, Tecumseh 



having passed away, all of his most devoted, sub- 
ordinate chief warriors of the Shawanee, Delaware, 
Ottowa, Miami, and other powerful tribes left their 
encampments in Upper Canada, and passed down 
to Quebec, then the residence of the Governor 
General, for the purpose of conferring with him 
personally, and ascertaining from him, whom they 
knew to be the chief representative of the King, 
what they could depend on in the future, and what 
his views were in regard to a continuance of the 
war? They had been present with Tecumseh at 
the beginning of the war, when the solemn promise 
had been given by Lieutenant General Prevost, as 
before noted. They now said to him : 

^^ Father y listen! Foitr recZ children want hack 

their old boundary lines, that they may have the 

■ lands which belong to them; AND this, father, 


^'Father, listen ! The Americans are taking our 
Ian Is from us every day. They have no hearts, 
father; they have no pity for us; they want to 
drive us beyond the setting siwi." 

The promises of General Proctor, at Maiden, 
and of Sir George Prevost, Governor General of 


Canada, at Montreal, representing the King and 
power of Great Britain, were made and broken ! 
The treaty of Ghent was signed! No old boun- 
tlary I Nothing secured to them ! 

The sepulchres ot their fathers, and the sites of 
their beloved early homes, became the fields of the 
white man. Their holy sepulchres and holy 
LAND were lost to them forever ! 

So ended their third and last crusade. 



■It !'■■.." ^f Mf^,-, 







Tecumseh always claimed the honor of never 
permitting the death of a prisoner, and never per- 
mitting any greater sacrifice of life than was 
absolutely necessary to secure victory. 

I met a large number of the principal warriors 
who convened at Greenville, a^d participated in 
making the. treaty of peace of the 22nd July, 1814, 
many of whom had known Tecumseh from his 
youth, had been with him in the war of 1791 and 
the present war. They invariably testified to the 
correctness of this claim on his part, and said it 
"ttJOS true;^* Hhey knew it to be true^^ 

In addition to this evidence, or in corroboration 
of it, a statement of an English officer of the 
highest reputation, as well as that of some American 
gentlemen who w;ere present at the time, will be 
given. • * 







ii > 

When General Green Clay advanced with the 
Kentucky forces, from Fort Defiance to the relief 
of General Harrison, then besiee;ed in Fort Meigs, 
General Harrison sent a despatch to him. General 
Clay, to land eight hundred men about two miles 
above, on the opposite shore from the Fort, march 
them down to where the ly had their main 

battery, spike the guns. hen immediately re- 

enter their boats, and j the river to the Fort. 
When the order was delivered, the noise of the 
rapids and dashing of the flotilla prevented Col- 
onel Dudley, who was charged with this duty, from 
hearing the order distinctly, (as was alleged in ex- 
tenuation by Dudley's friends, though not admitted 
by General Harrison, who by the reckless headlong 
movement that followed, unquestionably lost a 
brilliant advantage over his enemy,) and his men 
on landing, and carrying the battery, (which was on 
the bluff) without opposition, seeing a few Indians 
in the road before them, and a small number 
having fired on his advanced spies or rangers in the 
woods, with more impetuosity than caution, rapidly 
followed them. This was a stratagem of Tecumseh 1 
His Indians appeared frightened, ran on before the 
Kentucky Volunteers ; the road leading through a 



thick wood, on the high bank, along clown in 
the direction of the old British Fort, (at which was 
one of the Britisb camps,) keeping up a scattering 
fire, and running so as to lead on their enemy. 

Tecuniseh, in this manner, drew the whole regi- 
ment along between two columns or files of his 
warriors, posted on each side of the road on the 
ground, behind trees and logs. When all were 
within his ambuscade, on the instant that his signal 
was given, the columns closed upon Dudley's regi- 
ment; he was slain ; all except about 150 men were 
prisoners. Tecuniseh led them down to the old 
Fort, and delivered them to General Proctor, (the 
English officer in command,) immediately returning 
to the front with his warriors, ordering them with 
the promptitude and in the manner of a real com- 

Soon after he had regained his position opposite 
Fort Meigs, some cowardly, mean Indians (and every 
army has more or less of cowardly, mean, and cruel 
persons attached to it) commenced shooting from 
behind trees, and over the old walls at our men, 
and wounded several of them ; although the officer 
on duty 'made every exertion to prevent it. He 
saw no other course than to send word to Tecumseh, 



and accordingly despatched a courier on his fleetest 
horse for him. In a short time Tecumseh was seen 
dashing at full speed down the road with his sword 
Jrawn, and riding np to these miscreants, with the 
appearance of the greatest rage, struck them with 
his greatest force over the head and shoulders, with 
the flat of his sword, exclaiming : " Are there no 
men heref^ The English officer informing me 
of this incident, said, " He was the maddest looking 
man I ever saw " — " his eyes shot fire " — " he was 
terrible,^* The vile Indians vanished, and were 
not seen afterwards. 

Many of the subordinate officers of the British 
army, who had served at Maiden, Detroit, at the 
siege of Fort Meigs, and made prisoners of war at 
the battle of the Thames, were of the best English 
families — always gentlemen. They were courteous 
to us at Detroit. We were kind and courteous to 
them, when their turn came and arrived as prisoners 
at Cincinnati. From some of them I obtained im- 
portant facts. 

Many persons have written and published 
sketches of the life, character, and appearance of 
this celebrated Indian chief. Some, of these have 
been written by persons who evidently did not see 



or even have any certain knowledge of what they 
attempt to describe. 

All persons who have been in our armies during 
war, especially in our thinly settled part of the 
country, (and the old officers of our revolutionary 
war said it was" the same in their time,) know 
what reliance there is to be placed in what are 
termed "camp reportsj" — flying reports. During 
our first campaign, the newspapers were full of 

Among the publications to which I refer, is 
"Brown^s views of the campaigns of the north- 
western army, 1814." 

He says : " TecumseKs ruling maxim in war was 
to take no prisoners, and he strictly adhered to the 
sanguinary purposes of his soul. He neither gave 
or accepted quarters. Yet, paradoxical as it may 
seem, to prisoners made by other tribes he was at- 
tentive and humane. Nay, in one instance he is 
said to have buried his tomahawk in the head of a 
Chippeway chief, whom he found actively engaged 
massacreing some of Dudley^s men after they had 
been made prisoners by the British and Indians.'*^ 
Paradoxical truly ! He took no *^ prisoners, ^^ when 
but a year previous he had taken six hundred and 



fifty of Dudley^s regiment. He sank his tomahawk 
into the head of a Cliippcway chief! No tomahawk 
was seen; no Chippeway chief was there. They 
were his own prisoners, not British and Ind' m 
prisoners. The British had all fled from their 
battery to their camp at the old Fort. 

This is a specimen of history where the writer 
depends upon common or camp reports, or his own 
imagination for facts. Mr. Brown evidently wrote 
at home and from hearsay. He further states, that 
in the first settlement of Kentucky, he (Tecurasch), 
was particularly active in sinking boats going down 
the Ohioy killing the passengers, etc. Made frequent 
incursions into Kentucky, where he would invariably 
murder some of the settlers, and escape with horses 
loaded with plunder, etc. 

Now instead of all this, Tecumseh's first warlike 
act of any kind was his participation in the conflict 
known as Harmar^s defeat, in October, 1791, when 
he was a mere lad of sixteen years of age, in 
which he lost a beloved brother, several years older 
than himself, who was shot down at his side ; which 
so shocked him in consequence of the timidity or 
feelings of early youth, or that this was his first 
battle ; that he was charged, and laughed at by some 



of the old warriors, as showing the " white feather y* 
as he ran off the field when his brother fell, instead 
of assisting thera to carry him off. He, however, 
never wavered afterwards. 

This last defeat of Harmar took place but a 
short distance from his birth place, his beloved 
early home. He was also in St. Clair's defeat about 
a year afterwards, in which he gained credit for 
himself. And at Wayne's battle of the Rapids of 
the Miami of the Lake, on the 20th of August, 1794, 
he distinguished himself for his gallantry, and 
gained the name and standing of a " young brave.*^ 

This was the advent of Tecumseh, as a partici- 
pator in the affairs of his nation and race. And 
the idea that he had been one of the warriors that 
had *' made frequent incursions into Kentucky in the 
"first settlement" of that State, been among 
those terrible savages, who had been " active in 
seizing family boats going down the Ohio, killing 
the passengers, etc., was both anachronistic and 
fabulous, as the destruction of the family of Great- 
house, the coadjutor of Colonel Cresap in the 
murder of the entire family of the celebrated 
Logan, the " Mingo Chief," " th? friend of the 
white man," (whose home was on the beautiful high 



bank, about four miles below Steubenville, on the 
Virginia side of the river,) was among the last of 
these terrible acts, and this was done by Logan's 
avengers of blood, of his own tribe, when Tecumseh 
was yet a more boy ; and as for the incursions into 
Kentucky, they had ceased for many years. 

All this would be rich and amusing, but for the 
fact that it is destructive of the truth of history, 
Mr. Brown, however, deserves credit for having 
killed oft HIS Tecumseh at the place where the 
heroic warrior doubtless fell, the battle field of the 
" Thames." He says on that occasion " there was 
a kind of ferocious pleasure in contemplating the 
contour of his features, which was majestic even in 


On the return of the Kentucky Volunteers, who 
had participated in the battle of the Thames, at 
least a dozen of them appeared strongly impressed 
with the belief that they had slain this great chief- 
tain ; but no one of them pretended to any certain 
knowledge of the fact. The description given by 
them of the personal appearance of the warrior 
whom they claimed to have slain, did not, in any 
one instance, correspond with the personal appear- 
ance of Tecumseh. The better informed gentle- 
men of that force, in the absence of all certainty, 
thought it as well to consider the Indian warrior 
who confronted Colonel Richard M. Johnson, 
when he, at the head of his forlorn hope charged 
upon their line, and whom he certainly slew, to be 
this distinguished man. In this, however, they 
were as far from the truth as the others. Colonel 
Johnson informed me, and so he publicly stated 




during the canvass of 1840, for the Vice Presi- 
dency, that he did not pretend to say that the In- 
dian warrior referred to was Tecumseh ; he was 
not acquainted with his personal appearance; all 
that he knew was that a tall, athletic warrior con- 
fronted him, whom he slew, by discharging his pis- 
tol at him. The description given by him, of the 
appearance of this warrior, did not correspond. 
He was of too great a height; too large of stature, 
dark complexion, and hlach eyes! He had neither 
sword or pistols, only his gun, tomahawk and knife. 
Of course he was not Tecumseh, as at all times 
after he became Brigadier Genera) and Commander 
of the greatest Indian force, fully armed and 
organized, ever known in any war, under any one 
chieftain, was never in battle or in council without 
them ; and his complexion, as I have stated, was 
light, and his eyes were not black, but a clear 
transparent hazel. 

It was considered probable at the time, that he 
had been severely wounded, and borne from the field 
by his devoted and always attached corps of young 
chiefe, who were always with him, acting as 
aids, as runners, as messengers. There was no 
pursuit, the action lasting but a few minutes ; the 



English throwing down their arms as soon as 
Major Johnson's ,^ai;talion had advanced upon 
them, which they did at full speed, breaking the 
line of battle, and thereby turning the flanks, and 
making it a matter of necessity for the Indians to 
retire. It was a mere charge, a single shock, and 
nearly all the Indian loss, and our loss was 
sustained by the charge of Colonel Johnson, 
with twenty valiant men, who with him at their 
head, as a forlorn hope, had voluntarily and 
with deadly loss, (in imitation of Wayne's tactics at 
the battle of the Rapids, \n 1794, where General 
Harrison acted as one of his aids,) adopted this 
means to bring on the action. 

There is one thing most certain, and that is, 
if Tecumseh had been shot down, whether 
dead or alive, his body would have been borne from 
the field by his devoted warriors ; nothing would 
have prevented them. The entire Indian force 
would have concentrated at the spot if necessary, 
and hundreds been slain before they would have 
permitted their great and beloved leader to have 
fallen into the hands of his enemies dead or alive. 
Neither the Greek or the Trojan, under the walls of 
Troy, ever contended with more devotion, more un- 




yielding energy and pride for the bodies of their 
•fallen heroes, than those attached, devoted warrior 
friends would have contended for him. He was 
mortally wounded, borne from the field after 
Proctor's forces had thrown down their arms. We 
thought it probable that his wounds might not 
prove mortal, that he would again in a few weeks 
or months re-appear at the head of his forces; but 
he did not, he had passed away. 

When in the ensuing spring the delegation of his 
chief subordinate warriors went to Quebec, and had 
their interview with Sir George Prevost, as I have 
mentioned, Tecumseh's sister accompanied them. 
Sir George Prevost was Governor General of 
Canada. At the residence of the Governor General, 
Lady Prevost made to her many valuable presents, 
among them many emblems of ^^ Mourning,''^ This 
was the first, though not positive evidence of the 
death of the renowned chieftain, that I have ever 

A large number of the warriors who had been 
with Tecumseh from the beginning of the war, up 
to the battle of the Thames, and since that time 
had returned to their tribal homes, assembled at 
Greenville, the same place at which Wayne's treaty 


of the 3rd of August, 1795, was made, and entered 
into a treaty with our commissioners on the 22ikV 
July, 1814. Among them were many who had 
known him from his youth ; some of them had been 
in the habit ot coming into Cincinnati with their 
interpreters every autumn after the treaty of 17i)5 ; 
bringing their furs, and obtaining their supplies. 
Frequently font* to five hundred of each of the great 
tribes would . annually do so, having their camps in 
the forest, where Dayton street now is, and at the 
head of Main street. 

Among them were warriors who had during the 
war of 1791, taken some boys of respectable families, 
carried them home with them ; afterwards ransomed, 
and growing up to be our most respectable and 
opulent citizens. Their old captors, bloody war- 
riors as they were known to be in Harmar's and 
St. Clair's defeats, would make it a point to call and 
see them ; and although the Indian never forgot a 
friend, or forgave an enemy j and when he reposed 
confidence in any one, and was not deceived, would 
ever be friendly with them. Yet with all this com- 
parative intimacy and evident friendly feeling, we 
could never obtain from them any information as to 
Tecumseh's death; all appeared unwilling to admit 



that he was slam by the white man, that he fell at the 
"Thames/' or was dead; pride of feeling, pride 
of race, previous devotion to him, always prevented 
any explicit replies to questions on the subject. 
They were asked : 

What has become of Tecumseh? 

Raising the right hand to heaven, with an ex- 
pression of the deepest sorrow, 

" Gone." 

Did you see him on the day of the battle? 


When did you see him the last time ? 

" Just as the Americans came in sight, he with his 
young braves passed rapidly up and down the line, 
spoke to every old warrior; saw every one; said 
* BE BRAVES ;' ' Stand firm ; shoot certain,* " 

Did you hear after the battle that he was killed 
or badly wounded ? 


In my records of that time, these lines close the 
description of the battle of the Thames. 

Here the heroic Indian chieftain, the greatest of 
his race, doubtless fell. Yet no Indian that I have 
met, has admitted the fact ; and no white man that 
I have seen, has with certainty known it.